In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 27, 2006 / 29 Nissan 5766

Engaging, articulate teen copes with family matters in Elinor Lipman's beguiling novel

By Connie Ogle

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT) "I live," says young Frederica Hatch, "in a certifiably crazy place."

A sleepy, subpar women's school, circa the mid-1970s in snowy Brookline, Mass., may not sound like an epicenter of chaos. But in the capable hands of Elinor Lipman, Dewing College — a dubious finishing school "best known for turning out attractive secretaries who married up" — turns out to be quite the frothing cauldron of secrets and scandal and an exceptionally apt canvas for Lipman's lively, literate satire.

Author of seven delightful novels, including "The Inn at Lake Devine," "The Dearly Departed," "The Ladies' Man" and "And Then She Found Me," Lipman deftly and humorously dissects the oddities of closed communities. The fishbowl of Dewing provides a perfect setting for her articulate, wise commentary on academic society, leftover 1960s activism and tangled family dynamics.

Frederica has grown up at Dewing, living in a dorm with her pro-labor, vastly liberal, astonishingly open-minded professor parents, Aviva (Ph.D. in sociology) and David (Ph.D. in psychology). "Two bleeding hearts that beat as one," Frederica observes wryly. Aviva paints nipples on Frederica's Barbie dolls in the interest of anatomical accuracy. David is also fastidiously correct: "Who's 'everyone'? You know how we feel about your citing that pronoun as the subject of a sentence proclaiming some trend, some fashion, some allegedly majority opinion." Are they not, Frederica asks wearily, "the most annoyingly evenhanded parental team in the history of civilization?"

But into their insular world drops new dorm mother Laura Lee French — unflappable, brash, an alleged former Rockette and, well, let's just say it, possible nutcase — who also happens to be David's first wife, news that Frederica accidentally discovers and absorbs with avid interest. "I waited for an opportunity to detonate this connubial bomb at home, perhaps to trade it for something tangible — a sweet-sixteen party for a ten-speed bike — to offset my indignation at being kept in the dark."


Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Laura Lee is something of a sore subject for the Hatches, who met and fell in love when David and Laura Lee were still married. "My Latest Grievance" is definitely a comic novel, but Lipman uses its framework to introduce such big ticket issues as adultery and to explore the impossibility of perfection, even among the best-intentioned. As in "The Inn at Lake Devine," she also effectively touches on anti-Semitism — David's Protestant mother seems to prefer Laura Lee as a daughter-in-law over Jewish Aviva, if only for an easier time at holidays — without allowing its seriousness to overwhelm the light-hearted tone.

When Laura Lee takes up with Dewing's married president in a shockingly public way, rumors and speculation swirl, and Frederica is fascinated and appalled. "Condone or condemn? What do parents do when they've been ivory-tower sweethearts themselves?"

Thanks to Lipman's spot-on characterizations, the Hatches behave exactly as they should. And critical, precocious Frederica finally learns a lesson or two about life's awkward twists and turns.

"We think you'll take away from this the following: that nothing in life is this simple or this transparent," Aviva tells her. But one thing is simple enough: Turn Lipman loose on conflicting moralities and shifting allegiances, and you always will be entertained.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washinton and the media consider must reading. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services