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The Dearly Departedby Elinor Lipman
Synopses & Reviews
Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a not-always-devoted daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of her unhappy adolescence, to the community that remembers her solely, nervously, as "the girl who golfed."
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: The country club opens its doors to its former Orphan Annie caddie. High school classmates, even the tormentors, have grown up nicely, matured in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn't as beleaguered as she felt she was. Maybe her mother's life was richer than anyone suspected, and maybe Fletcher, the man at the funeral — the one with her face, her flyaway hair, her golf swing — is the half-brother she doesn't know she needs.
Dispatches from the graveside gossips only increase as Sunny's mourning dance takes center stage in otherwise-sleepy King George. Newly liberated from the congressional campaign of the hapless and anorexic Emily Ann Grandjean, Fletcher installs himself in his father's lakeside bachelor pad, within drop-in distance of his reluctant half-sister. Thankfully, he's also within the sights of chief of police and hometown hero Joey Loach, whose interest in Sunny has long since blurred the line between civic duty and his fondest hopes.
"Another sharply observed, if avowedly romantic, comedy of manners from Lipman." Kirkus Reviews
"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
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 shed left behind. Reentry is to be dreaded; theres 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 wasnt as beleaguered as she felt she was. And maybe her mothers 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.
About the Author
Elinor Lipman is the author of The Ladies' Man, The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel's Bed, The Way Men Act, and Then She Found Me. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Gourmet, Salon, and Playgirl. She lives in Massachusetts.
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