Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remembering who is the central character

A few summers ago I had an Elinor Lipman summer. I read everything she wrote (except her short stories). She just published her latest book, The Family Man, so of course I had to read it.

Here's a summary from the cover copy:

"A hysterical phone call from Henry Archer's ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend his well-ordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago. Henry is a lawyer, an old-fashioned man, gay, successful, lonely. Thalia is now 28, an actress-hopeful, estranged from her newly widowed crackpot mother -- Denise, Henry's ex. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a former child star and current horror-movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck. When Thalia and her complicated social life move into the basement of Henry's Upper West Side townhouse, she finds a champion in her long-lost father, and he finds new life -- and maybe even new love -- in the commotion."

Yep, that sums up the book. I enjoyed it, although it was almost a bit slap-happy for me. I don't remember her other books being that way....although it fit with the whole showmanship aspects of Thalia and the "horror-movie luminary."

I had trouble remembering that Henry is the central character and that Thalia wasn't the main focus. If I had, I would've been more content in her story being more of a periphery one.

Rating: 7.5/10

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