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About the Book

About the Book

The Ladies' Man

The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading of Elinor Lipman's novel The Ladies' Man. We hope that they will provide you with new ways of looking at and talking about one of Lipman's most successful romantic comedies. Like The Inn at Lake DevineThe Ladies' Man is a mischievous tale of tangled love and second chances--an enormously rewarding story with a winning mix of appealing heroines, vivid writing, and wickedly funny social commentary.

Nineteen sixty-seven was a defining year for Adele, Lois, and Kathleen Dobbin. That March, Harvey Nash failed to attend the party at which he and Adele were to announce their engagement. Thirty years later, the three sisters--graying, stolid, content (albeit lonely)--blame him for what unkind relatives refer to as their spinsterhood. But late one cold April night, the buzzer sounds at the Dobbin sisters' apartment. It is Harvey, in out of the blue from the west coast--where he's reinvented himself as Nash Harvey, composer of jingles--to apologize.

After Kathleen greets Harvey by hitting him over the head with a casserole dish, the Dobbin sisters find themselves in the awkward position of having to look after him for a spell. Older, seemingly filled with regrets, still as charming and arousable as ever, he becomes a catalyst for the untried and the long overdue in the three women's lives--though surely not in the ways he might have hoped. Level-headed, cautious Adele, who works for a public television station, finds herself flirting with her boss on the air during a campaign drive. Kathleen, the shy owner of an elegant lingerie boutique, seduces Lorenz, a sweet, unassuming doorman who lives with his father. Lois, the only Dobbin to have embarked on the road to matrimony (and subsequently, divorce) dusts off her girlhood notion that Harvey abandoned Adele rather than indulge his preference for another member of the family: Lois herself.

Meanwhile, Cynthia--a bright, sophisticated woman Nash seduced en route to Boston--discovers that Nash is not the man she had hoped he was. And Dina, Nash's jilted lover back in California, gets into a fender-bender with a handsome stranger. If she plays her cards right, she may land the man of her dreams (or at least a competent sperm donor). And if she doesn't, there may be an opportunity to get Nash back. Sharp, sexy, unfailingly funny, The Ladies' Man is a charming look at modern American sensibilities and the timeless pursuit of love.

The Ladies' Man
by Elinor Lipman

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2000
  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 037570731X
  • ISBN-13: 9780375707315