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Elinor Lipman
Adult Fiction LIPMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Frederica Hatch-the articulate, curious, and na?ve narrator of Lipman's eighth novel-proves the perfect vehicle for this satiric yet compassionate family portrait. It's 1976, and psych professors David and Aviva Hatch are honest with their daughter to the point of anatomically correcting Frederica's Barbie dolls. In all their years as a dorm family at a small women's college outside Boston, though, no one mentioned Laura Lee French, David's first wife (and distant cousin). Frederica, now 15 and ready for rebellion, delights in Laura's arrival on campus as a new dorm mother; David and Aviva look on nervously as the two become fast friends. In contrast with Frederica's right-thinking, '60s radical parents, Laura Lee becomes the delicious embodiment of all the moral and psychological complexities of a flawed world beyond campus. Meanwhile, campus itself looks very little like an ivory tower as major scandal brews amid petty gossip. As in previous novels, Lipman addresses sensitive issues (anti-Semitism, adultery, dementia) with delicacy and acerbity. She also nails the shifts and moods of an angry teenager, a grandmother in denial, a philanderer in hiding and a campus in shock. By the end, a smart young girl learns compassion for a world that can be grotesquely, hilariously, disturbingly unfair. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In the late 1970s, Frederica Hatch is the enchantingly outspoken daughter of brilliant college professors at a minor all-girls college in Massachusetts. Her temperate, mildly eccentric, and lovely parents, also union activists for the faculty of Dewing College, serve as houseparents at one of the dorms, where Frederica has lived her whole life. Wise beyond her years, Frederica takes it in stride when she discovers that her father was married once before and that Laura Lee French, the smashingly solipsistic first wife of Dr. David Hatch, has just been hired as housemother of one of the other dorms. Within hours of her arrival, French seduces the new president of Dewing in a flagrant affair that provides rich fuel for Frederica's hilariously dry wit and searing analysis of adult foibles. Lipman (The Pursuit of Alice Thrift) creates that rare blend of no-nonsense compassion and believable, offbeat innocence that is completely irresistible. Expect demand for this novel and renewed interest in Lipman's previous seven. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor District Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Frederica Hatch
Age: 15
Parents are psychology professors; lives at asmall women's college; becomes friends with Laura.

David Hatch
Frederica's father; psychology professor.

Laura Lee French
David's first wife; works at the college as a dorm mother; friends with Frederica.
House mother

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