"A punchy little comedy of manners. . . . Think Jane Austen in the Catskills." --Chicago Tribune
"A tale of delicious revenge." --USA Today
"A funny, knowing novel about how love really does conquer all. . . . Thanks to Lipman's deft touch, the novel . . . rivals her own best work for its understanding of the way smart, opinionated people stumble toward happiness." --Glamour
"Delightful. . . . [A] witty romantic comedy." --The New York Times Book Review
Lipman waltzes fearlessly through a minefield of loaded subjects AntiSemitism, intermarriage, ethnic cuisine and Anne Frank in this witty romantic comedy.
Seamlessly written. . .resonates both intelligence and sweetness.
A story of Jews and Gentiles, this very funny novel begins with a segregated inn in Vermont and ends with all the characters getting their comeuppance. In its skewering of assimilation and cultural diversity, it is reminiscent of Gish Jen's Mona in the Promised Land (LJ 3/15/96), only here Lipman uses Christians, not Chinese, to tweak social consciousness.
Natalie Marx is shocked when, in response to an inquiry, her mother receives a note from the proprietor of the Inn at Lake Devine baldly stating that the guests who feel most comfortable there are Gentiles. Natalie inveigles an invitation from a friend to go to the inn and thereby sets off a lifelong fascination with breaking the rules. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, this delightful new work is highly recommended for all fiction collections.
--Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD
Lipman waltzes fearlessly through a minefield of loaded subjects -- AntiSemitism, intermarriage, ethnic cuisine and Anne Frank -- in this witty romantic comedy.
A funny, knowing novel about how love really does conquer all.
Lipman (Isabel's Bed, 1995, etc.) again celebrates romance grounded in the real world as she wittily details love's rout of prejudice by two young couples.
Natalie Marx is the Jewish narrator of this good-humored tale of lovers of different faiths, who find happiness and even manage to be accepted by their initially not-so-happy parents. Natalie's family, who live in Massachusetts, summered each year in the 1960s either at the beach or on the lakes; one summer, in response to an inquiry her mother addressed to the Inn at Lake Devine in Vermont, a letter came from the proprietor, Ingrid Berry, saying that their guests were all Gentiles. Young Natalie was both angry and intrigued. She finessed a summer in her teens at the Inn by befriending WASP Robin Fife, whom she met at a summer camp, and then found both the Fife family and the Inn bland and boring. Now in 1970s Boston, Natalie, training to be a chef after college, runs into Robin, who asks her to come to her wedding at the Inn: She's marrying Nelson Berry, Ingrid's eldest son. Natalie goes, and cooks up a storm as the families grieve after Robin is killed on her way to Vermont, then falls for Kris, the younger Berry son. Neither the Marxes nor the Berrys are pleased. But their biases are nicely balanced when Linette Feldman, whose family owns a kosher hotel in the Catskills, falls for Nelson Berry, and her parents have also to be brought round. Love wins out, of course, thanks to perseverance and good sense.
An upbeat and amusing romp through what is usually a minefield, by a writer who deftly makes her points but never preaches.