In a delightful new romantic comedy from Elinor Lipman, one woman’s trash becomes another woman’s treasure, with deliriously entertaining results.
Daphne Maritch doesn't quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of '68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.
In a fit of decluttering (the yearbook did not, Daphne concluded, "spark joy"), she discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it's found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook's mysteries—not to mention her own family's—take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.
Good Riddance is a pitch-perfect, whip-smart new novel from an "enchanting, infinitely witty yet serious, exceptionally intelligent, wholly original, and Austen-like stylist" (Washington Post).
Lipman's satisfying latest is a worthy addition to her long lineup of smart, witty novels. When Daphne Maritch throws away the marked-up yearbook her late mother (the advisor to whom it was dedicated) left her, she unleashes a series of events that will change her life forever. After leaving the yearbook in her New York City apartment building's recycling bin, Daphne's eccentric and annoying neighbor Geneva Wisenkorn, a self-proclaimed filmmaker, nabs it, weirdly intent on transforming it into a documentary. When the two attend the class of '68's reunion in her hometown of Pickering, N.H., Daphne learns a long-held family secret: one of her mother's former students, Peter Armstrong, is her biological father. To complicate matters, Daphne's father, Tom a retired high school principal has just moved to New York, begins working as a dog walker, and meets a charming Manhattanite who might just end up being Daphne's stepmother. And he's not giving his daughter up easily. In a lesser writer's hands, the plot could have devolved into a soapy mess, but Lipman ably turns it into a charming romantic comedy. Lipman (On Turpentine Lane) complements Daphne, Tom, and Geneva with a stellar cast of supporting characters (especially Jeremy, the sexy actor across the hall) and intelligent and lyrical prose, making this novel a delightful treat readers will want to savor.
Light fun read
This was a nice fun summer book