The Pursuit of Alice Thrift
By Elinor Lipman
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375724596, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 13, 2004
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In her newest well-tuned, witty, and altogether wonderful novel, bestselling author Elinor Lipman dares to ask: Can an upper-middle-class doctor find love with a shady, fast-talking salesman?
Meet Alice Thrift, surgical intern in a Boston hospital, high of I.Q. but low in social graces. She doesn’t mean to be acerbic, clinical, or blunt, but where was she the day they taught Bedside Manner 101? Into Alice’s workaholic and wallflower life comes Ray Russo, a slick traveling fudge salesman in search of a nose job and well-heeled companionship, but not necessarily in that order. Is he a conman or a sincere suitor? Good guy or bad? Alice’s parents, roommate, and best friend Sylvie are appalled at her choice of mate. Despite her doubts, Alice finds herself walking down the aisle, not so much won over as worn down. Will their marriage last the honeymoon? Only if Alice’s best instincts can triumph over Ray’s unsavory ways.
Elinor Lipman is the author of The Dearly Departed, The Ladies’ Man, The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel’s Bed, The Way Men Act, Then She Found Me, and Into Love and Out Again. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Gourmet, Salon, Self, More, and Yankee Magazine. She has taught writing at Simmons, Hampshire, and Smith colleges, and won the 2001 New England Book Award for fiction. She lives in Massachusetts.
“Simply, wonderfully, memorably human and therefore complicated and compelling. . . . A total treat.” —USA Today
“A witty, satirical novel rich in wry, observant narrative reminiscent of Jane Austen’s deceptively benign satiric genius.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“The most perfect piece of prose writing to come along in quite a while.” —Philadelphia Weekly
“The literary equivalent of lemon soufflé, light, tart and delicious.” —Detroit Free Press