Finished June 8, 2010
I tried reading this book once a few years ago. I think it was the first Elinor Lipman book I had picked up after reading the wonderful Inn at Lake Devine. At that time, I lost interest in it and never finished it. But after being won over by some of her other books, I was ready for this one.
Once again, Lipman gives us an exasperating character. This one, unlike Isabel in Isabel's Bed or Bernice in Then She Found Me, is not also charming. He's just irritating. It's Ray Russo, the man who is pursuing Alice Thrift, M.D., a first year resident at a hospital in Boston.
Alice is pretty much all intellect and not much of a social butterfly. She's not even a social caterpillar. Her mother accuses her of having Asperger's Syndrome because she doesn't seem to be able to create a social life for herself. That's when Ray Russo comes in. He lavishes attention on Alice and she, at first, is taken aback by his forward style. But, a man is paying attention to her. Knowing that she needs to improve her personality she lets him woo her.
Ray Russo is a character that is pretty irritating, but one that I think you can enjoy hating. Alice's few friends - who are also in pursuit of the fun loving Alice they know is inside the M.D. exterior - don't trust Ray and wonder why she's even giving him the time of day.
Like all of Elinor Lipman's books, this is funny and filled will great characters. I especially liked Leo the NICU nurse and his huge Catholic family.
This wasn't one of Lipman's better books, but still enjoyable.