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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elinor Lipman Almost at Her Best., 8 April 2006
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**** (Pleasant Hill, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Latest Grievance (Hardcover)
Elinor Lipman's novels are a delight to read, and I eagerly await the publication of each of her books. She is a master of comic prose, witty dialogue, and improbable plots that make the reader squirm with discomfort, as her characters teeter on the brink and often fall into the precipice of socially unacceptable behavior. I find myself thinking, "Oh no, she's not going to go there", and then I gleefully wonder how is she going to do it. One thing is certain: her plots are never predictable. "My Latest Grievance" is narrated by precocious 17 year old Fredericka Hatch who is the very observant only child of David and Aviva Hatch. They are socially liberal, politically correct parents who teach at a small eastern women's college where they live as houseparents in a dormitory. David is also the faculty union president and handles co-workers' grievances against management. Their dormitory apartment is the only home that Fredericka has ever known, and she has been treated since infancy as a college mascot. Fredericka knows everyone and everything that is going on. She is smug in her belief that her parents share everything with her. Then, one day she receives a pearl necklace from Laura Lee French and learns that Laura Lee was her father's first wife. Although Laura Lee's initial motivation is unclear, she insinuates herself into their lives by applying for and getting a job as housemother in a neighboring dormitory. Laura Lee is embarrassingly flamboyant, self-involved, histrionic, and above all a sexy manhunter who sets her sights on the college president. To put it mildly, Laura Lee is the antithesis of David and Aviva French, and her indiscretions snowball into a veritable avalanche of repercussions. Snappy dialogue and Fredericka's sardonic observations make this a quick and entertaining read. However, it's not quite as satisfying as Lipman's earlier works: "Then She Found Me", "Isabel's Bed" or "The Inn at Lake Devine". The ending of "My Latest Grievance" is not romantic but equitable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No grievance at all with this novel, 2 Mar 2010
This review is from: My Latest Grievance (Paperback)
This is the first book by Elinor Lipman I have read and I was not disappointed. The main protagonist is a precocious brat at times, the result of a liberal upbringing surrounded mainly by adults and is therefore ahead of other kids her age. She starts meddling in the lives of the adults which leads to hilarious and somewhat unforeseen, tragic consequences, as a result of which, she realises she might not be as clever as she thinks and subsequently grows up and redeems herself and the situation she has helped to create. A very well written and intelligent novel.
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My Latest Grievance
My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
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