Elinor Lipman

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Good Riddance, a novel

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.

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. She read the manuscript two months before we lost her, and among the wonderful things she wrote me (on 1/2/18) 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."