Modern Lit: Then She Found Me, by Elinor Lipman

Then She Found Me: A NovelThe reunion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“My biological mother was 17 when she had me in 1952, and even that was more than I wanted to know about her.” But April Epner is about to find out more – a whole lot more. Then She Found Me is a bittersweet gem of a novel dealing with the reunion of mother and daughter, when the daughter is 36 and the mother in her fifties. April is a serious, reserved Latin teacher whose adoptive parents have since died. Bernice G is a local talk show host, brash, narcissistic, and determined to always have lots of attention and her own way. She also tells a lot of lies. Their attempts to get to know each other bring about many situations, some poignant, but most exasperatingly funny. Along the way, as a side effect of some of Bernice’s ceaseless micromanaging, April is stunned to find herself in love with a most unlikely guy.

Ms. Lipman has created a quirky, attractive, and genuine cast of characters in this story about all kinds of love. She has authored eight other novels, and smart but gentle satire is a hallmark of her work, , which has prompted some critics to label her “the Jewish Jane Austen.” But you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy her writing, just human. Then She Found Me is a breath of literary fresh air.

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