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About the Book

About the Book

The Inn at Lake Devine

The questions, discussion topics, and suggested reading list that follow are designed to enhance your reading of Elinor Lipman's The Inn at Lake Devine. We hope that they will suggest a variety of ways to talk about this delicious new romantic comedy by the author of Isabel's Bed.

In the spring of 1962, in response to her inquiry about summer vacation accommodations at a lakeside Vermont inn, Natalie Marx's mother receives a letter saying "our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles." Feisty thirteen-year-old Natalie, whose heroine is Anne Frank and who is named for an aunt who died in the Holocaust, sets her sights on infiltrating this exclusive WASP establishment and teaching its proprietor, the frosty Ingrid Berry, a lesson. At first Natalie limits herself to a hilarious series of covert actions, but when she meets blonde-haired Robin Fife at camp the following summer, she manages to get herself invited for the Fifes' annual visit to the Inn at Lake Devine. After a week among thegoyim--nettling Mrs. Berry and flirting with her handsome elder son Nelson--Natalie returns to her own family and thinks no more of Lake Devine.

Ten years later, Natalie is a struggling chef trying to break into the world of French cuisine when she meets Robin again, who invites her to attend her marriage to Nelson Berry. So Natalie makes a fateful return to wintry Vermont where, in the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy, she finds herself drawn to Kris Berry, who has emerged from his brother's shadow to become a charming, witty, and undeniably attractive young man. Their nascent romance is cut short by Natalie's meddling parents, whose interference only weakens their influence on their daughter. Expertly combining tragedy and romance in a provocative comedy full of sparkling social mischief, Elinor Lipman has created a truly memorable novel in the vein of Jane Austen.

The Inn at Lake Devine
by Elinor Lipman

  • Publication Date: April 27, 1999
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 037570485X
  • ISBN-13: 9780375704857