My introduction to Elinor Lipman was the humorous campus novel, My Latest Grievance. I read a few more of her books but they were fluffy and lacked the edge of Grievance. However, there was one more Lipman on my shelf – The View From Penthouse B – and I picked it up, needing some froth after a book I found traumatic. And I’m glad I did.
The View From Penthouse B is a farce. The story revolves around sisters Gwen and Margot. Gwen is unexpectedly widowed, and Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious apartment. Margot has her own woes – divorced amid scandal (her ex, Charles, was a doctor who got caught in a terribly unsavoury malpractice situation) and then made poor by a Ponzi scheme, Margot is struggling to make ends meet.
Though we call ourselves roommates, we are definitely more than that, something in the order of wartime trenchmates. She refers to me fondly as her boarder – ironic of course, because no one confuses a boarding house with an apartment reached via an elevator button marked PH. In a sense, we live in both luxury and poverty, looking out over the Hudson while stretching the contents of tureens of stews and soups… Continue reading →
Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted. I haven’t participated until now but this week’s topic – Top 10 Books I’d Recommend As Great Beach Reads – reeled me in simply because I have a bit of checklist for beach reads.
Specifically, I like them to be light and easy-to-read (so that I can read a little, doze in the sun, read some more, have a swim…). That said, I don’t want complete trash! I want a book that is well written and with a decent plot (this rules out lots of chick-lit which you can pick up for a couple of dollars from the bargain bin at the newsagent of your holiday destination). So here’s my list (in no particular order) – Continue reading →