Isabel's Bed

Isabel's Bed

by Elinor Lipman

Paperback(Reprint)

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Isabel's Bed 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elinor Lipman is one of the best practitioners of the art of domestic comedy currently writing. Her books are light, not lite; they're funny and witty, but they also have a sting. They're beautifully written in a simple, clean style, and the characters have a depth of personality that makes them engaging and believable, if not necessarily always likable. Elinor Lipman's books go down easy, but at the same time they offer genuine insight into human nature and the indomitability of the human spirit.As Isabel's Bed opens, heroine and narrator Harriet Mahoney has just been dumped by Kenny, her "balding, malcontent boyfriend of twelve years, who said we'd get married if I conceived his child or when he felt like it." Bad enough that Harriet's been dumped, even worse that they've been sharing an apartment in New York, notoriously one of the toughest housing markets in the world, but--worst of all--he's left her to marry someone. A younger--Harriet is forty-one--someone. So, turning his slap in the face into a knife in her back, it's not that Kenny didn't want to get married...it's that he didn't want to marry Harriet.Ouch.Harriet, a secretary and would-be writer, does what any intellectual New Yorker would do: she turns to the personal ads in the New York Review of Books, for, as she overheard one woman say another on the subway one day, "There are no guarantees in this world, but chances are that people who take out ads in the New York Review of Books aren't idiots or crooks." Lo and behold, she finds something, an invitation for a writer to share a Cape retreat. "Write me about your spectacular self," the ad says.And so Harriet does, is hired, and rents a car to make the drive from Manhattan to Cape Cod. There she meets Isabel Krug, a woman whom Harriet has never heard of but who, apparently, achieved some degree of notoriety as the "other woman" in a tabloid murder extravaganza several years earlier. Isabel, it seems, wants Harriet to write her life story.Isabel Krug is bigger than life. She's bosomy and loud. She embraces and amplifies that which she lacks--she lives in a luxurious ultra-modern house fitted out with a state-of-the-art modern kitchen but is helpless even to open a can of soup, she owns several fabulous cars but doesn't drive--while offering life lessons to all around her (who often, admittedly, roll their eyes while secretly taking her advice). And, as often happens when a seemingly dull nobody is taken under the wing of an Auntie Mame, Harriet blossoms. She comes into her own and, more importantly, truly sees Kenny for what he is and realizes how little she's lost (and how much she's gained). Isabel's Bed is a beautiful gem of a novel, which gives us beautiful writing, a compelling story, and engaging characters. Elinor Lipman is as good and as insightful into the human condition as her more well-known contemporaries, such as Anne Tyler and Anita Shreve. Perhaps some day she'll share their readership.
sallyawolf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this book Isabel, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and has decided to write a book about it. Not knowing the first thing about writing she hires a ghost writer. The lives of all of the charterers intertwine in a weird set of events that lead everyone to find themselves a different place in their lives then where they started out. If you are the kind of person who reads the first ten pages of a book to see if they will like it or not then this book is defiantly not for you. The first chapter or two of this book are very boring and poorly written but like in the book itself the author finds their grove and it is well worth the read. I love the interaction between the characters and the personal growth that they all go through. I would recommend this book if you like, Chick Lit, romance or a bit of fun read when you have nothing better to do. I found this book in the trash.
coolmama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A delight! My favorite of all her books - and she is one of my favorite authors!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is good,but I have to say it is quite boring. At first you can't put it down, but by the end you cant pick it up. I must praise the beginning. It is very interesting and I couldent put it down. By the end i have lost interest. I still have yet to pick up the half read book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
Now this was a great book -- some really quirky characters and an incredibly original plot really juiced up the urge to keep reading and to turn each page until the very end. I fell for the author's push for me to love certain characters, and dislike others, and I enjoyed the ride. A great book for traveling, beach reads, and your general desire to get away from it all and relax.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. The ending was the biggest disappointment since we found out who shot Mr. Burns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the characters, but felt like the rug was pulled out from under me with the ending. The story line took an abrupt turn and none of the things it had been building to were concluded.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at a BN and sat down on a Sunday night at about 7:00 pm and read it all the way through until about 3:00 am. It certainly was a page-turner. I was sad to see how the book ended though. Everything kind of climaxed a little late in the book and then sort of just ended with Harriet going in a totally different direction. I did enjoy the characters though, and couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found myself loving Isabel from the beginning. Her rude and unapologetic ways left me feeling very at home. It was just great to pick up and read a cute little novel. It was charming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was like hanging out with hilarious old friends. I smiled the whole way through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'll admit, it took a second reading for me to enjoy this book. After the first reading, I thought Harriet was sort of pathetic, although I loved the characters of Isabel and Pete. I'm not even sure why I read it again...but I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed it much more the second time! Perhaps it was the passage of time and the changing of goals in my own life that made me more sympathetic towards Harriet. Also, Lipman injects her characters with such great humor and humanity - especially Isabel, who is a delight in her strange way. I recommend giving this book a shot...and if you don't like it, try again in seven years!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isabel's Bed is one of the funniest, most enjoyable books I've ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and really strong characters and dialouge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tries to be titillating, but is sooooo borrrring.... I couldn't maintain an interest in any characters except that 'bad' boyfriend who kicked out the main character, and who could blame him? A directionless person at the crossroads of life? Could turn into something good, but instead, I wanted to slap Harriet, and say, 'Live your own life, you wuss!' Had there been an option to give no stars, I would have seized it. However, I must assign at least one star, so I will also concede that there were no spelling errors or typos.