Book Review Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman


Regular readers will know that I love Elinor Lipman. The Inn at Lake Devine is one of my favorite books. And then there are couple other novels of hers that I really enjoyed, and few I found just okay. Isabel’s Bed falls short of being a favorite and kind of falls kind of at the bottom of those that I really enjoyed. Interesting and fun and full of twists, it just wasn’t as clever as My Latest Grievance or Ladie’s Man. But when comparing Elinor Lipman to Elinor Lipman she can’t lose right.

Struggling writer Harriet Mahoney is dropped by her boyfriend of 12 years. You know the type, won’t commit but finds himself married just months after he breaks up with you. She goes off to live on Cape Cod to be a ghost writer for Isabel who was in bed with her older, rich lover when his jealous, crazed wife shoots and kills him. Intelligent chicklit with enough 1990s detail to make you want to put on stirrup pants and an over sized sweater and then cinch it.

4 thoughts on “Book Review Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman

  1. Read the Book January 15, 2011 / 1:26 pm

    Is there really anything that would make stirrup pants desirable??!! That is one fashion choice that, in retrospect (and I wore my fair share), I still don't understand!


  2. Thomas at My Porch January 20, 2011 / 2:35 pm

    I must admit I would have worn stirrup pants if they had been readily available for boys. As it was, my freshman year of college (1987) I had a pair of pants from an Army/Navy surplus store that got really tight around the ankle and somewhat simulated a stirrup profile. There are no known pictures of that…


  3. carolwallace January 24, 2011 / 7:34 pm

    Elinor Lipman is a goddess and I'm so happy to see this review. I just went back to “Isabel's Bed” which was one of my first of her books. Happily I have converted my husband and he is now on a Lipman jag, reading snippets out loud to me while I page through my Viragos. Pretty nice state of affairs, actually!

    And thanks for the nifty button!


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