The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

lipmanI’ve read a bunch of her other books, some I really liked, some less than others.  This is her newest and I loved it. It was not a very long book and it was a quick read.  By the way, this was our choice for my new two person book club. We’ll be discussing it next week.

The main character, Henry, is a fiftysomething gay man living in Manhattan.  Years ago he’d been married to a woman with a very young child, whom he adopted.  A few years later when they split up and she remarried, he allowed her new husband to adopt the daughter and gave up his parental rights.  Now, thirty something years later he still feels deeply sad about it.  Coincidences occur and the long lost daughter is back in his life.  Her name is Thalia (a name I particularly don’t care for so every time I read it I found it jarring) and she is an aspiring actress.  Thalia quickly becomes a part of Henry’s life and they all get caught up in the wild and crazy acting job Thalia gets–posing as a minor celebrity’s girlfriend to get photos of him into tabloids and stir up publicity.

The whole thing was just charming and funny and delightful.  Thalia’s mother, Denise, is an awful woman, but so clueless in the things she says that it just comes across as funny.  Henry’s blossoming romance with a friend of Denise’s is very sweet and I appreciated that there was no conflict there.

Although the story was in no way a mystery you wanted to keep reading to find out how things would be resolved and how things were connected.  It was heartily satisfying.


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