Whenever I’m feeling a little blue, I know that I can always count on an Elinor Lipman novel to lift me out of the doldrums. This was confirmed when I read her most recent novel, The Family Man. This book is classic Lipman: likable— albeit flawed—characters, an airy, lighthearted plot, smart social satire, and dialog crisp and sparkling as a fine champagne.
The Family Man is the story of Henry, a dapper, comfortably retired, gay New York lawyer who, prevailed upon for legal advice by his ex-wife, finds himself happily reconnected with his long lost stepdaughter Thalia. Twenty-something Thalia is an aspiring actress, and out of fatherly interest, Henry takes on the role of her manager and attorney. This turn of events leads some to delightful plot developments, general hilarity, a reforging of human connection, and satisfying endings all around.
Lipman writes the kind of novels that I’m sorry to see come to a close, but which leave me uplifted and charmed, and, impatient for the next Lipman creation.
Word on the street is that Lipman’s next novel will be released in Spring 2013. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying her most recent offering: Tweet Land of Liberty, a clever and amusing collection of tweets about the presidential election, started in 2011. If all else fails, I know I can always go back and re-read some of her other light but masterful works!