THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE by Elinor Lipman

THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lipman (Isabel’s Bed, 1995, etc.) again celebrates romance grounded in the real world as she wittily details love’s rout of prejudice by two young couples. Natalie Marx is the Jewish narrator of this good-humored tale of lovers of different faiths, who find happiness and even manage to be accepted by their initially not-so-happy parents. Natalie’s family, who live in Massachusetts, summered each year in the 1960s either at the beach or on the lakes; one summer, in response to an inquiry her mother addressed to the Inn at Lake Devine in Vermont, a letter came from the proprietor, Ingrid Berry, saying that their guests were all Gentiles. Young Natalie was both angry and intrigued. She finessed a summer in her teens at the Inn by befriending WASP Robin Fife, whom she met at a summer camp, and then found both the Fife family and the Inn bland and boring. Now in 1970s Boston, Natalie, training to be a chef after college, runs into Robin, who asks her to come to her wedding at the Inn: She’s marrying Nelson Berry, Ingrid’s eldest son. Natalie goes, and cooks up a storm as the families grieve after Robin is killed on her way to Vermont, then falls for Kris, the younger Berry son. Neither the Marxes nor the Berrys are pleased. But their biases are nicely balanced when Linette Feldman, whose family owns a kosher hotel in the Catskills, falls for Nelson Berry, and her parents have also to be brought round. Love wins out, of course, thanks to perseverance and good sense. An upbeat and amusing romp through what is usually a minefield, by a writer who deftly makes her points but never preaches. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-45693-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998




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