The Inn at Lake Devine

Elinor Lipman

In this comic romance it’s the early 1960s and Natalie Marx is stunned when her mother receives this response to enquires about vacation accomodation in Vermont: ‘Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.’ So begins Natalie’s fixation with the Inn and the family who owns it.

’It was not complicated , and, as my mother pointed out, not even personal: they had a hotel; they didn’t want Jews; we were Jews…’ Natalie Marx is stunned to discover the Inn at Lake Devine in Vermont , a hotel operating an anti-semitic policy. She becomes obsessed with the Inn and the family that owns it, and finagles an invitation to join a friend on vacation there. In this way she sets herself on a path that will inextricably link her adult life to this peculiar family and their once-restricted hotel.

This novel delights with its elegant and deft story-telling and sparkling characters: even when anti-Semitism rears its head in Vermont and the tables are turned in the Catskills. Elinor Lipman is the undisputed master of the art of screwball comedy, and The Inn at Lake Devine is a wonderfully satisfying, witty, romantic comedy.

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