This week’s Beach Read Wednesday pick is more romantic comedy than pure romance, but it’s a book that’s been on my keeper shelf for ages and one that I recommend to everyone. If you’re looking for the perfect book to while away a summer afternoon, look no further than Elinor Lipman’s The Inn at Lake Devine.
Goodreads summary: It's 1962 and all across America barriers are collapsing. But when Natalie Marx's mother inquires about summer accommodations in Vermont, she gets the following reply: ‘The Inn at Lake Devine is a family-owned resort, which has been in continuous operation since 1922. Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.’ For twelve-year-old Natalie, who has a stubborn sense of justice, the words are not a rebuff but an infuriating, irresistible challenge.
My thoughts: Everything about The Inn at Lake Devine is wonderful. Romance, humor, friendship, food poisoning by mushrooms – what more does a book need? It begins with a girl determined to challenge anti-Semitism, but it becomes so much more than that. Natalie is an utterly charming heroine as both tween and adult, and the back-up cast is equally entertaining and endearing. The book is alternately witty, thought-provoking and touching, and Lipman’s writing is perfectly suited to the story.
The Inn at Lake Devine is a relatively short book (272 pages) but it’s a complete and satisfying story – a highly recommended read.
Recommended drink while reading The Inn at Lake Devine: A Cape Codder (cranberry and vodka), or a Sam Adams. Hey, Natalie’s from Massachusetts so we have to honor her heritage.