Elinor Lipman

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Ms. Demeanor, a novel

The Inn at Lake Devine

  • 1998 (Hardcover), 1999 (Paperback)
  • Random House, Vintage
  • Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, iBook, Audio

It's 1962 and Natalie Marx is shocked when her mother receives this reply to her inquiry about summer accommodation in Vermont: "Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles."

It was not complicated, as her mother pointed out. "They had a hotel; they didn't want Jews. We were Jews." For twelve-year-old Natalie, the words are an infuriating, irresistible challenge. She manages to wangle an invitation to join a friend on holiday there—and, as her obsession begins with the family that has excluded her, she sets in motion events that will change her life, and which will tie her forever to the once-restricted inn.

Reviews and praise

"A tale of delicious revenge."USA Today

"A funny, knowing novel about how love really does conquer all....Thanks to Lipman's deft touch, the novel rivals her own best work for its understanding of the way smart, opinionated people stumble toward happiness."Glamour

"An author who was born with an auto-immune system already primed against clichés and an ear for dialogue sharper than an electronic listening system."The Times (London)