On Turpentine Lane (Paperback)
From the beloved, best-selling author of The Family Man and The View from Penthouse B, this endearing romantic comedy is funny, poignant, and a little bit outrageous.
At 32, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It’s a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane, her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state). And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he’s Chagall.
When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, officemate par excellence . . .
Elinor Lipman may well have invented the screwball romantic comedy for our era, and here she is at her sharpest and best.
About the Author
ELINOR LIPMAN is the award-winning author of sixteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel’s Bed, I Can’t Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays, On Turpentine Lane, and Rachel to the Rescue. Her first novel, Then She Found Me, became a 2008 feature film, directed by and starring Helen Hunt, with Bette Midler, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick. She was the 2011–12 Elizabeth Drew Professor of Creative Writing at Smith College and divides her time between Manhattan and the Hudson Valley.
New York Times Paperback Row “Light and tight, ‘On Turpentine Lane’ is constructed with an almost scary mastery. Not a single thread dangles, not a single character is left without a place in Faith’s world. The story folds out and back in as neatly as an origami flower, and Faith recounts it all with a raised eyebrow and plenty of cheek. . . . Lipman seems to have the most fun writing ridiculous characters, which may be why the novel’s worst people are so enjoyable . . . A neat bourbon swapped for the usual rom-com grenadine.” —New York Times Book Review “When a restless woman impulsively buys a dilapidated cottage, she winds up with problems she didn’t anticipate: love trouble, family disarray, even a murder investigation. The cleverly tangled plot—along with some snappy dialogue and a wry, likeable heroine—makes Lipman’s latest a diverting delight.” —People “When there's already too much darkness in the world and a cheering respite is in order, we can all be glad for Elinor Lipman's On Turpentine Lane, a romantic comedy with just enough sly wit to keep it from turning sugary...We can trust that like her foremothers Jane Austen and Laurie Colwin, Lipman will find a way to make the world right for her heroine. Would that she could do so for the rest of us!” —O, The Oprah Magazine “The novel’s fast, funny dialogue keeps things light. Yes, that’s the Lipman way: alerting us to cultural wrongs even while entertaining us with her cultural zingers . . . Lipman has taken lessons from our great chroniclers of the quotidian, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Jane Austen. The result, in 'On Turpentine Lane,' provides a light but serious antidote to what ails us all these days.” —The Washington Post “Genuine, deft and witty, Lipman’s On Turpentine Lane, doesn’t skewer American contemporary life as much as roast it . . . Lipman’s neat plot twists and smart repartee propel the novel, but it is its sharp social observations and far-ranging curiosity that elevate it beyond the traditional romantic comedy, into a work of real heft and charm.” —The National Book Review "[Lipman] has a way of crafting books so utterly charming that you want to set up residence inside them. And yet, in a seemingly effortless balance, she’s never saccharine, but writes in a wry, warm, we’re-all-friends-here-so-let’s-have-a-drink tone . . . Like all of Lipman’s books, ‘On Turpentine Lane quickly becomes a friend." —The Seattle Times “A breezy beaut that is swift and smart . . . It will appeal to someone looking for a cheerful escape and at the same time feed a sophisticated reader without feeling like empty calories.” —The Lowell Sun “Delightful! I read it in one day—truly a peak reading experience. Every page was packed with wonders.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? "A new Elinor Lipman novel is always a cause for celebration. And her newest will not disappoint: the story of 32-year-old Faith Frankel, who returns to her suburban hometown, where she takes a job as a professional thank you note writer for her alma mater and buys a charming bungalow home. Little does she know, the house might contain some secrets. On Turpentine Lane is another pitch-perfect, delightful romantic comedy from the beloved author of The I —