Elinor Lipman

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Good Riddance

  • February 2019
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover, Kindle, iBook, Audio

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.

A PopSugar "Best Books of Winter" selection
A LibraryReads "Top 10 Books of February 2019"

The late June Maritch was the teacher to the class of '68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went onto attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably. And was there some kind of short-hand code to be deciphered? In a fit of decluttering, Daphne discards the yearbook 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.

Elinor adds this personal note: "The book is dedicated to my very dear friend, Anita Shreve, who died in March 2018. She read the manuscript two months before we lost her, and among the wonderful things she wrote me (on January 2nd) was this:"

"Just finished moments before, and it's all I can think about. Daphne! Jeremy! Her father! Such wonderful characters. It struck me as I was reading that the construction is like spun sugar or spun gold. A single drop at the beginning, and there's no telling where it will go. Your powers of invention are very much on display, but by the time we're thoroughly drawn in, invention turns into necessary and right. The dialogue may be your best."

Reviews and praise

"True to form, Ms. Lipman blends a pair of highly appealing love stories into this farrago. The author has long been one of our wittiest chroniclers of modern-day romance. Books like The Way Men Act (1992) and The Inn at Lake Devine (1998) haven't aged at all. Ms. Lipman's characters have begun to get older, however, and the most touching subplot in Good Riddance follows Daphne's widowed father's intrepid attempts to rejoin the dating scene (especially tough as he thinks apps are called "maps"). Ms. Lipman's writing is brisk and intelligent, and if the plot of this novel is zanier than her usual fare, that too may show just how plugged-in she is to our farfetched times." Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"The ultimate V-day binge read." Cosmopolitan

"VERDICT: Fans of Lipman will cheer for a new novel in her signature style: funny, warm, sharp, smart, and full of love for family, no matter how flawed." Library Journal

"Lipman's satisfying latest is a worthy addition to her long lineup of smart, witty novels...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." Publishers Weekly

"Smart, sassy, and satisfying... a tightly woven, lightly rendered, but insightfully important novel." Booklist