A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman

The Review From Penthouse B reminded me a lot of The Family Man, and not in a good way. Lipman seems to have a formula lately of gathering a lot of lovably eccentric characters into a space and letting them fly. The results are certainly readable and often funny, but never seem to have much point to them.

I did feel a great deal of empathy with the narrator of this book, a relatively young widow being pushed to “move on” faster than she feels comfortable with. (A reviewer has suggested that she might be intended to have Aspergers and I can see that… it’s a very interestingly subtle portrait if so, and of the kind of person who would likely never get diagnosed.) When she did get a romantic interest it disappointed me because their conversations seemed based entirely on gossiping about her crazy extended family and everything that had previously happened in the book. It’s like that was all there was to her and she had nothing else to share.


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“Miss Bates…had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavour to make a small income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman..." Emma, Jane Austen