My introduction to Elinor Lipman was the humorous campus novel, My Latest Grievance. I read a few more of her books but they were fluffy and lacked the edge of Grievance. However, there was one more Lipman on my shelf – The View From Penthouse B – and I picked it up, needing some froth after a book I found traumatic. And I’m glad I did.
The View From Penthouse B is a farce. The story revolves around sisters Gwen and Margot. Gwen is unexpectedly widowed, and Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious apartment. Margot has her own woes – divorced amid scandal (her ex, Charles, was a doctor who got caught in a terribly unsavoury malpractice situation) and then made poor by a Ponzi scheme, Margot is struggling to make ends meet.
Though we call ourselves roommates, we are definitely more than that, something in the order of wartime trenchmates. She refers to me fondly as her boarder – ironic of course, because no one confuses a boarding house with an apartment reached via an elevator button marked PH. In a sense, we live in both luxury and poverty, looking out over the Hudson while stretching the contents of tureens of stews and soups… Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. This week, all three are samples that have been on my Kindle for years. Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading
I don’t like to can books without giving reasons why. So, in regards to Love and Happiness by Galt Niederhoffer: Continue reading
It might be pitched as light and frothy, a la Sex and the City, but Jami Attenberg’s third novel, All Grown Up, tackles big issues, goes to some dark places and doesn’t provide the New-York-fairy-tale ending that you might expect.
Andrea Bern is struggling with her identity.
For most people, moving to New York City is a gesture of ambition. But for you, it signifies failure, because you grew up there, so it just means you’re moving back home after you couldn’t make it in the world. Spiritually, it’s a reverse commute. Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah Continue reading
When I was immersed in the Stella Prize 2017 longlist, every book I picked up was about grief. It was all rather glum and I needed something fluffy to provide balance. Hence Galt Nierderhoffer’s novel, The Romantics. Continue reading
Caroline is married to Henry.
Henry is having an affair with Martha.
Caroline and Henry’s neighbours are Lesley and Craig.
Caroline is having an affair with Craig.
Janice is Caroline’s sister.
Alec is Janice’s ex-husband. Janice still loves him, it seems.
Alec springs Janice and Craig in bed together (nothing happened).
Lesley has had enough of Craig.
Lesley announces she’s sleeping with Alec.
And then things descend from there. Continue reading
The title of Monica Drake’s second novel, The Stud Book, suggests something along the lines of last week’s ‘Oil up, rigs out’ episode of The Bachelorette. Here’s a reminder:
However, it’s anything but. The title is literal – a stud book is a breed registry of animals. The novel is rooted in biology and explores themes of mating and motherhood via a group of friends, who all find themselves at different points on the ‘breeding cycle’. Continue reading
Clearly one data point* does not make a trend.
*because The Devil Wears Prada was good fun.