The perfect novel to snap you out of any hold-over winter blues. On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman is funny, snappy, and charming, and has enough pep to keep it from being cutesy or dull.
Faith Frankel has just bought a run-down bungalow on Turpentine Lane, in the town where she grew up. She’s got a job at the local private school, where she writes thank-you letters to donors. Soon, her life becomes one long comedy of errors, everything from a separation from her fiance to her father discovering his artistic side to the possibility that there might have been murders committed in her house.
I know that all sounds heavy, but in Lipman’s hands, it all comes across as hilarious, farcical, totally screwball comedy. On top of that there’s a wonderfully old-fashioned feel to the book. There aren’t any curveballs, each obstacle is overcome, and the ending is happy. There are sweet moments, funny moments, poignant moments, a dash of mystery, a bit of intrigue.
In all, a delightful read filled with great characters and crackling dialogue, and a bit of romance at the center to boot.