Elinor Lipman and the power of the comfort authors

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

3 words: witty, light, romantic

We all have go-to comfort authors, and Elinor Lipman has been one of mine since the happy day I discovered her books.

My favorite Elinor Lipman books are her clever romantic comedies–books like The Inn at Lake Devine and The Way Men Act and Then She Found Me.

(Some of her other books involve less likeable characters, and I really gotta like the characters!)

So I was flipped out with happiness when I found out that not only was her latest a romantic comedy, but it also involves real estate. And man do I love reading about houses.

So we had ourselves here the kind of book that made me stay up past my bedtime alarm, reading against the rules.

(Unruly? Heck, yeah!)

In this book, Faith is engaged to a probably-unfaithful loser. She works at a school, where she shares an office with a very nice, very single man. So there we have it.

And while her ne’er-do-well fiance is gallivanting around the countryside, taking selfies with old girlfriends (and new?) Faith buys a house. A darling little cottage of a house. Which she neglects to tell him about. Cuz: dude’s lost the right to know things.

And the house… the house is adorable, but it’s got some baggage.

Then there’s her family. Her dad left her (very calm) mom for another woman, and that’s got the family all in a tizzy. Except for the mom, who appears to be taking it in stride. So Faith and her brother (whose friendship is completely charming) try to figure out how to deal with that.

Throw all of these things into a bowl, stir gently, fold into a pan, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The results: utterly delicious.


Give this book a whirl if you like… romantic comedies, books about houses, witty repartee, mysteries from the past, and quirky extended families

So, my friends… Who are your comfort authors?

4 thoughts on “Elinor Lipman and the power of the comfort authors

  1. Nothing is so comforting and satisfying as a Little House book. I also like to fall into Anne Tyler novels when having one of those days in which I would like to stay home and build a blanket fort.

  2. Oh my god, I’m having a Bybee moment. I came to comment to say I’ve been pounding Anne Tyler books lately strictly for the comfort. Also have been reading Little House books to the jrs. WEIRD! So glad you love Anne Tyler too.
    Elinor Lipman and I have never been close but I do think she’s a good author and kudos to her for writing “women’s fiction” that doesn’t make me want to throw up. That’s a terrible thing to say but I have been reading some TERRIBLE women’s fiction the last couple of years.

  3. I love this — you & Bybee are picking up the same signal!

    Elinor Lipman really delights me — she’s smart & funny & never treacly. Thank all goodness for that.

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