Sunday, January 18, 2009

Category 2, Book 1: New-to- me authors - Elinor Lipman

The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman
Category: New-to-me Authors

In the 1960s, Natalie Marx and her family are looking into various hotels and cottages around Lake Devine, where they're going to be vacationing. Most get back to them with rates and accommodations, but one in particular, the Inn at Lake Devine, suggests that Gentiles would feel more comfortable in this lodging. Natalie becomes somewhat fascinated with the establishment that would flout laws (she sent the proprietor a copy of the Civil Rights Act), and finagles her way into a visit.

This is hardly even the start of the story, but the plot is much more delightfully fun when you don't know what's coming. Natalie is the narrator as well as the main character, and she's a fun person to be "in the head" of. All the characters were great: I never had the sense that any of the secondary characters were cookie cutter or background, all of them felt very real. Also, it was a somewhat "local" New England story, so it was fun recognizing a surprisingly large number of locations mentioned in the tale. Though racism is a main theme throughout, it's dealt with both seriousness and humor and isn't a heavy story. I'm definitely going to be looking to read more by this author. 4.5 stars.

Thanks to LibraryThing members detailmuse and bonniebooks for recommending this as my first book by Elinor Lipman!

Cross posted at the 999 Challenge.

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