Inn at Lake Devine

Lipman, Elinor. The Inn at Lake Devine. New York: Random House, 1998.

This kind of fiction reminds me of delicious junk food. Tastes so good going down but does nothing for you later. I found The Inn at Lake Devine very easy to swallow – read it over the course of two days while keeping up with two other books I had going.
How to describe this book? Simple, yet not. It’s about Natalie Marx, a young Jewish woman looking to start a professional career as a chef. As a young girl she learned first hand about “polite prejudice” when her family is denied a reservation to a Gentile-only, family-run resort in Vermont (The Inn at Lake Devine, of course). This exclusion creates curiosity in Natalie and she sets out to get herself invited as a guest. Fast forward ten years and through some near incredible coincidences Natalie finds herself entangled with the Inn at Lake Devine family once again. Only this time she is all grown up and ready to face the stereotypes and the complications of the heart head on. Of course it involves falling in love with the “enemy.” Under the cute romance there is an honest commentary on what it means to marry outside your religion, what it means to be accepting of societies different than your own.

Favorite lines: “‘I wipe the fuzz off peaches when a customer wants nectarines”‘ (p 61). Love the sarcasm!
“Most beautiful and moving in a repertoire of beautiful and moving carols was Silent Night in German and English, by candlelight” (p 95). That’s my favorite part of the service, too.
And one more: “‘Natalie can tell whether boiling water has been salted just by sniffing the steam,’ said Kris” (p 170). Damn, she’s good!

BookLust Twist: From Book Lustin the chapter, “Elinor Lipman: Too Good To Miss” (p 146).

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