The Dearly Departed
By Elinor Lipman
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375724589, 288pp.)
Publication Date: August 13, 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Audio Cassette
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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 she’d left behind. 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; even high school tormentors have grown up in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn’t as beleaguered as she felt she was. And maybe her mother’s 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.
Elinor Lipman is the author of seven books: the novels The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, The Dearly Departed, The Ladies' Man, The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel's Bed, The Way Men Act, Then She Found Me, and a collection of stories, Into Love and Out Again. She has been called "the diva of dialogue" (People) and "the last urbane romantic" (Chicago Tribune). Book Magazine said of The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, "Like Jane Austen, the past master of the genre, Lipman isn't only out for laughs. She serves up social satire, too, that's all the more trenchant for being deftly drawn."
Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, Gourmet, Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times’ Writers on Writing series. She received the New England Booksellers' 2001 fiction award for a body of work.
"Almost nobody writes serious entertainment with more panache."–Chicago Tribune
"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