“Light and tight, On Turpentine Lane is constructed with an almost scary mastery.”—New York Times Book Review
“A diverting delight.”—People
“[Lipman] has a way of crafting books so utterly charming that you want to set up residence inside them…On Turpentine Lane quickly becomes a friend.”—Seattle Times
At thirty-two, 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. On Turpentine Lane is funny, poignant, and a little bit outrageous.
“A light but serious antidote to what ails us all these days.”—Washington Post
“Delightful! I read it in one day—truly a peak reading experience. Every page was packed with wonders.”—Maria Semple
When Faith Frankel moves from Brooklyn back to her hometown of Everton, Mass., she falls in love with a little house on Turpentine Lane. The house, because of rumors about a death that took place there, is well within her salary as a fund-raiser, so despite the asbestos and a failing roof, she decides to buy it. She's accustomed to challenging projects, starting with Stuart Levine, her longtime boyfriend who has left on a solo hitchhiking expedition with her credit card. No sooner does she move into the house does she learn that the previous owner's second and third husbands fell down the basement stairs to their deaths. Stuart is unsupportive, so she finally dumps him, encouraged by Nick Franconi, officemate and soon-to-be roommate. Faith and Nick develop a relationship while she tries to solve the mystery of the deaths at Turpentine Lane, her parents' faltering marriage, and her eligible-bachelor brother's lack of a significant other. With a witty cast of characters and her usual delightful dialogue and insightful observations of human behavior, Lipman (The Inn at Lake Devine) captures the complications of modern love.
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If you’re looking to spend some time mindlessly reading - this is the book. Was it meant to be a comedy (not funny)? A crime story (dumb crime)? A love story (insipid)?