"On Turpentine Lane" has been on my TBR pile for eighteen months. I bought it in a fit of enthusiasm after reading "Isabel's Bed". I've looked at it a few times since then and gone, "I want to read that but not today."
I'm reading it now because it has a (mostly) green cover and so qualifies as my book for Mawlid An-Nabi.
So far it's been a light, mildly amusing comedy of manners kind of book but I'm struggling with it because it's exposing a prejudice I'm a little loathe to admit to. I find it hard to empathise with a privileged white middle-class, university educated woman in her thirties who is so hapless.
Her haplessness is fundamental to the humour of the book so letting it irritate me is self-defeating but what bothers me is my own reasons for being so quick to judge this woman. Her haplessness is quite plausible. She's conflict-averse, trusting, committed to her job and looking for a quiet life. I'd probably like her if I met her. Yet I find myself irritated by her inability to use the advantage she has.
All of which says more about me than about Elinor Lipman's writing.
So, I'll try to suspend my disapprobation and enjoy the story.