Finished February 20
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
This novel is a fun read, a bit madcap, and a bit romantic. Faith Frankel, age thirty-two, has recently left her job in Brooklyn, returning to the suburbs of Boston and taking a job in the fundraising department of her private school alma mater, Everton Country Day; a job that offers less in the way of stress. She likes her job as head of Stewardship and gets along well with her officemate Nick who is in charge of Major Gifts.
As the novel opens, Faith is buying a small house. It's been on the market a while and while it definitely has a few issues, Faith hopes to lowball an offer so that she can afford the mortgage on her own. Faith has a fiance, Stuart, but recently he's remade himself and she isn't sure she likes the new man. Stuart has decided to walk across the country to find himself, but he seems to be taking a lot of selfies with old girlfriends. And he doesn't have a job. Quite a difference from that attentive hard-working man she first met.
On the family front, there are also issues. Faith's father, recently retired from his insurance job, has taken a studio in Boston and her mother seems unconcerned, but is the reason really as innocuous as he says? Faith and her brother Joel, who runs a snowplow business get along well, and team up to find out what her father is up to.
When Faith's dad finds a photo album with disturbing pictures in the attic of Faith's new house, she wonders what the story is behind them. And when she hears rumors about other things that may have happened with the previous owner she grows more concerned. So, when her officemate Nick finds himself in need of a place to crash, she offers up her second bedroom. After all, they get along fairly well, and she'd feel better with someone else in the house.
And then things get more interesting.
A book with a lot going on, and relationships changing, and families supporting each other. A nice uplifting read.