The Dearly Departed

Elinor Lipman

A joyful comedy of manners about long-lost siblings, amateur dramatics, politics and golf.

When Sunny Batten hears from a brusque, ill-mannered stranger that her beloved mother Margaret has just died in a freak household accident, understandably she thinks that things can’t get any worse. But when she discovers that her cranky informant is the son of the man who died alongside Margaret, and that the pair, unbeknownst to their offspring, were engaged to be married, matters take a distinct downward turn.

As even-tempered, reasonable Sunny and arrogant, wise-cracking Fletcher take their positions at the funeral, the eyes and ears of the sleepy New Hampshire town of King George are fixed upon them. What excites the graveside gossips more than anything is the mourners’ identical, prematurely grey hair. Mere coincidence, or the inescapable workings of shared DNA?

With its vivid evocation of small-town life and a cast of unwittingly hilarious characters, THE DEARLY DEPARTED will prompt as many belly laughs as it will tears – and leave you hoping for more despatches from King George long after you’ve turned its final page.

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