Most helpful positive review
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
the book that changed my life...no, really!
on October 6, 2002
I was a young mom when I discovered this book at the local library. Although I'd always been a voracious reader, it had been a few years since I'd found anything that engrossed me. With rambunctious toddlers to tend, I found myself reading Parents magazine instead of the sharp, insightful, quirky fiction that I'd always loved.
And then I found Elinor Lipman. I think the description on the back of the book pulled me in: toad-sized earrings? Should be an interesting character, I thought. I read the book in one sitting and then flipped to the first page and read it over again. I was starved for fiction and Elinor Lipman served up a delicious entree in a completely unique way. She doesn't get the credit she deserves for being one of the first (and best) of the witty-women-fiction-writers who are now so common.
Lipman's gift for dialogue, her light touch and her original, imperfect but charming characters make her a modern-day Jane Austen. She can write a comedy of manners better than anyone who's currently publishing. The romance between April and her unlikely Prince Charming is a touching surprise, and the tension between the laid-back, no-frills April and her overbearing birth mother is perfectly depicted through Lipman's well-chosen descriptions and naturally witty dialogue. She makes it look easy.
When I worked at a bookstore, I recommended this book to anyone who was looking for a well-written light love story with a bit of an edge. I'll always have a special place in my heart for this book: it was the first novel I read after a few years of reading nothing but baby-related stuff, and it reminded me again how fiction can really touch your heart. I'm glad I made time for this book, and I'm glad I bought my own copy and have reread it several times since that first day (my kids are teenagers now and this remains on my all-time favorites list!) Although some of her subsequent books haven't been as engaging, Elinor Lipman remains a master at what she does, creating memorable heroines and surprising love interests, dialogue that crackles with wit, and plot lines that are a wonderful escape from the harsh realities of most of today's good fiction. A new book from Lipman is always a cause for celebration and a reason to shell out the extra bucks for a hardcover.