On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman – Book Review

If you are feeling that your own life is a little out of control, here is the book that will remedy that feeling.  Faith Frankel’s life seems to be just one absurd problem after another.  As the novel opens, Faith is wondering if her erstwhile finance is really still her finance, or is he using her as a bank.  Stuart is on a “walk about” (to borrow the expression from the Australians’) with no real reason other than to “find himself”.  He asked her to marry him before he left, and made it “official” by putting a red string around her finger.  Faith is still wearing a red string; however, Stuart’s Facebook and Instagram is full of him with his arms around other women, he rarely returns her phone calls, and she is feeling more than a little put out.

On top of this, Faith has problems at work; and she buys a house with a little more morbid history than she has bargained for.  Her father has moved out of the house that he shares with her mother, since he is answering the call of the artistic life.  Is he leaving her mother?  Will there be a divorce?  While Faith’s issues definitely come down on just this side of hilarious, they are indeed in need of dealing with.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it’s a wonderful bit of fun, and I highly recommend it.   Well done, Lipman!

Elinor Lipman



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