Sunday, April 25, 2010
Week 16: The Family Man - Elinor Lipman (320 pages)
"The Family Man" is a fun book that delves into issues that seem particularly relevant in the 21st century. The plot involves a gay man that was married to a socialite, her child, now an adult, his love life and the coming together of all parties. It is a fun ride and I must say that I had an enjoyable time following the characters on this journey.
Henry Archer, a retired lawyer, is surprisingly reunited with his step-daughter from a marriage that ended 25 years prior. Though he was gay - he married Denise Krouch, a socialite in NYC. I found it interesting that the marriage didn't end because he was gay - it ended because Denise was having an affair! In a nasty custody battle - Henry gave up his adoptive rights to his step daughter, Thalia, and moved out of her life.
Circumstances crop up, as they tend to in some novels and television movies, that put Henry in direct contact with his long lost daughter, Thalia. She is an out of work actress trying to make it and when they are reunited she is on the outs with her mother following an unthinkable outburst at Denise's husband's funeral.
Plots twist and collide, comic events come to pass, misunderstandings place characters in peril and are corrected by the end of the novel. Sometimes the book was wholly predictable, but there were a few surprises as well. I would say this is a good beach/summer read. The first of Ms. Lipman's novels that I have read - good enough to make me want to explore the author's other offerings.