Literature Elinor Lipman The Dearly Departed

ISBN 13: 9780375724589

The Dearly Departed

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9780375724589: The Dearly Departed

With her trademark humor and warmth, the beloved author of The Ladies' Man and The Inn at Lake Devine explores going home again; about finding light in the dark corners of one's inhospitable past; about love, golf, and DNA.

Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a now-distant daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiancé, brings Sunny back to the scene of the unhappy adolescence she thought she’d left behind. Reentry is to be dreaded; there’s no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel. Yet allies surface; even high school tormentors have grown up in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn’t as beleaguered as she felt she was. And maybe her mother’s life was richer than anyone suspected. Add to the mix a chief of police whose interest in Sunny exceeds his civic duty, and you have the makings of an irresistibly beguiling tale from an author who writes with all the wit and wry authority of a latter-day Jane Austen.

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Review:

When amateur actress Margaret Batten and her lover Miles Finn are found dead in Margaret's ramshackle gray bungalow, all of King George, New Hampshire, is abuzz. Is it foul play? (No, carbon monoxide poisoning.) Were they engaged? (Yes, if you believe the cleaning lady.) And why do Margaret's daughter Sunny and Miles's son Fletcher have the same kind of wispy, shiny, prematurely gray hair? (They're brother and sister, or so suggests Fletcher, annoyingly and at length.) Meeting one's possible half brother for the first time is jolting enough. But for Sunny Batten, the shock is compounded by finding out that her shy, sweet-faced mother was evidently not the "little mouse"--or even the "late bloomer"--Sunny had always assumed her to be. In other words, when the eulogists praise Margaret's vaunted generosity and her "open door," they aren't necessarily talking about the time she asked the Girl Scouts in for lemonade.

But then King George is full of surprises. Home for the first time since high school, Sunny finds herself reassessing the place. She has ample reason to regret her teenage years--she was poor, had no father, was the only girl on the golf team, found a dead carp in her golf bag one time. But how far can a grudge take you in life? Can we ever really know the truth about our parents? What state of mind does it take to shoot par? Lipman addresses such questions with her customary lighthearted touch, sketching out her ensemble cast with rapid and comical strokes. Witness, for example, anorexic congressional candidate Emily Ann Grandjean's most characteristic tic: "constant sips from a large bottle of brand-name water, then the ceremonial screwing of its cap back on once, twice, full-body twists as if volatile and poisonous gases would escape without her intervention." In the end, all loose ends are neatly tied up and all single characters are suitably paired--in other words, the author once again produces the kind of visceral satisfaction readers associate with her work. It's hard not to devour an Elinor Lipman novel in one sitting; put this one away for a time when you won't have to put it down. --Mary Park

From the Back Cover:

"Almost nobody writes serious entertainment with more panache."–Chicago Tribune

"Witty and wry . . . this is summer reading at its best."–The Atlantic Monthly

The Dearly Departed contains a core of dark and mordant wit that distinguishes it, in delightful ways, from the norm.”–Washington Post Book World

"Nothing short of brilliant.... A story so funny and so pleasurable that the reader can only wish it did not have to end."–Booklist

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Book Description VINTAGE, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. With her trademark humor and warmth, the beloved author of The Ladies Man and The Inn at Lake Devine explores going home again; about finding light in the dark corners of one s inhospitable past; about love, golf, and DNA. Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a now-distant daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of the unhappy adolescence she thought she d left behind. Reentry is to be dreaded; there s no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel. Yet allies surface; even high school tormentors have grown up in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn t as beleaguered as she felt she was. And maybe her mother s life was richer than anyone suspected. Add to the mix a chief of police whose interest in Sunny exceeds his civic duty, and you have the makings of an irresistibly beguiling tale from an author who writes with all the wit and wry authority of a latter-day Jane Austen. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375724589

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Book Description VINTAGE, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. With her trademark humor and warmth, the beloved author of The Ladies Man and The Inn at Lake Devine explores going home again; about finding light in the dark corners of one s inhospitable past; about love, golf, and DNA. Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a now-distant daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of the unhappy adolescence she thought she d left behind. Reentry is to be dreaded; there s no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel. Yet allies surface; even high school tormentors have grown up in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn t as beleaguered as she felt she was. And maybe her mother s life was richer than anyone suspected. Add to the mix a chief of police whose interest in Sunny exceeds his civic duty, and you have the makings of an irresistibly beguiling tale from an author who writes with all the wit and wry authority of a latter-day Jane Austen. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375724589

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