The Inn at Lake Devine

The Inn at Lake Devine

by Elinor Lipman

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The Inn at Lake Devine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a new author to me, I enjoyed it alot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely. The story is fun, the characters drawn beautifully. The whole Jewish resort was hysterically funny and so well drawn. I loved the conversations and the characters. This is my favorite Lipman novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent writing and a very thought-provoking story. This book kept me entirely focused from the first page until the very end. If you're looking for a meaningful read, this is the one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elinor's gifted storytelling grabs you from the start and makes for one interesting tale of love and life...between the narrow-minded and the rest of us. Love does conquer all. I especially enjoyed her acknowledgement. Thanks for the good read. Keep them coming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my 2nd Lipman book -- her latest was my first -- and as far as I'm concerned, if Elinor Lipman has authored a book, I will read it. An unusual premise for me - I don't normally want to read about anti-semitism and bigots before I fall asleep - Elinor is one heckuva story-teller. This is an intelligent, witty romance with likable characters but without the cookie-cutter formula of chick-lit. Looking forward to catching-up to the rest of her fans!
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the 1960s, Natalie Marx and her family are looking into various hotels and cottages around Lake Devine, where they're going to be vacationing. Most get back to them with rates and accommodations, but one in particular, the Inn at Lake Devine, suggests that Gentiles would feel more comfortable in this lodging. Natalie becomes somewhat fascinated with the establishment that would flout laws (she sent the proprietor a copy of the Civil Rights Act), and finagles her way into a visit.This is hardly even the crux of the story, but the plot is much more delightfully fun when you don't know what's coming. Natalie is the narrator as well as the main character, and she's a fun person to be "in the head" of. All the characters were great: I never had the sense that any of the secondary characters were cookie cutter or background, all of them felt very real. Also, it was a somewhat "local" New England story, so it was fun recognizing a surprisingly large number of locations mentioned in the tale. Though racism is a main theme throughout, it's dealt with both seriousness and humor and isn't a heavy story. I'm definitely going to be looking to read more by this author.
teaperson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first of Lipman's novels I read, and definitely one of her best works.
chinquapin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When she is a child in th3 1960s, Natalie's family wants to go on vacation to a lakeside inn in Vermont, so her mother sends off inquiries to several on Lake Devine. They receive back mailers from several, including one from The Inn at Lake Devine which claims that it is best suited to Gentile vacationers. Natalie is intrigued and horrified at this exclusion of her Jewish family, and manages to finagle a visit there anyway with the family of a Gentile friend. Somewhat obsessed by this inn her whole life, she later ends up in a relationship with one of the sons of its owners. Her Jewish parents and his anti-semitic mother are both very much against any intermarriage, so the lovers meet clandestinely at a Jewish resort in the Catskills which serves as a contrast to the sad Inn at Lake Devine. Basically, this was just not my type of novel. I surprised myself by actually finishing it. I had a difficult time understanding Natalie's early fixation with The Inn and its anti-semitic owner, and her 'friendship' with Robin, the girl who invited her to come to The Inn with her family, was extremely self-serving and somewhat disturbing. The heated problem with intermarriage in light of the lack of religious belief in either her or Kris' family seemed far-fetched. Perhaps that was the point, to make the prejudice seem pointless and idiotic. I am certain this type of irrational prejudice existed, I just don't get it. The whole story felt unreal and unnatural to me, so I never really connected with, or felt sympathy with, any of the characters.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I fell madly, totally, and completely in love with the heroine of Elinor Lipman's The Inn at Lake Devine. Natalie Marx is around twelve when the short novel opens, and her family has just received a politely worded rejection letter from the proprietor of the Inn at Lake Devine: there are no rooms at the inn for people with Jewish names. The first half of the book recounts Natalie's comic attempts to visit the inn, her real but limited success, and the interesting people she encounters along the way. The second half of the book concerns the twenty-five-year-old Natalie's re-introduction to the inn and her romance with the innkeepers' son. As always, Lipman's characters are quirky, yet true to life. They respond to real life situations in real ways, yet Lipman's compassionate eye for the comic shines through.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of how one anti-semitic hotel owner shapes the life of Natalie Marx, from her childhood through young adulthood. When Natalie's family is turned away in the 1960s from a Vermont resort because of their Judaism, Natialie becomes obsessed with the inn's owner and her prejudices. As a child Natalie works hard to infiltrate this forbidden world. The second part of the book jumps forward to Natalie's early twenties. By this point Natalie has more or less put the Inn at Lake Devine behind her, but when she makes the choice to revisit part of her past, the Inn at Lake Devine will return once again to Natalie's life in important and tragic ways. Once again Natalie will be forced to confront anti-semitism and the pain of her youth. At the same time, Natalie is trying to negotiate the world of and early twentysomething: breaking away from overprotective parents, establishing a career, and finding love. Overall, a beautifully written and engaging story.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I couldn't set the book down once I started it. Natalie's Jewish family receives a letter from an inn the family had hoped to visit which warns that non-Gentiles are not welcome there; Natalie takes this as a challenge. Thoughtful and fun. I think I've found a new author I love!
tibobi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Short of It:The Inn at Lake Devine is the perfect summer read. The setting and the characters do not disappoint and it¿s surprisingly meaty given its summery feel.The Rest of It:It was not complicated, and, as my mother pointed out, not even personal. They had a hotel; they didn¿t want Jews; we were Jews.So begins the story of young Natalie Marx and her infatuation with the Inn at Lake Devine. Natalie¿s mother sends an inquiry to the Vermont hotel inquiring about summer accommodations for her and her family, and receives a polite, but firm note back indicating that the hotel does not do business with Jews. Shocked, but intrigued, Natalie wonders about the person who wrote the note and in her own way, stages a rebellion from afar.However, when Natalie discovers that a friend visits the Inn each summer, she realizes that it¿s a chance of a lifetime and manages to get the family to invite her to join them for the summer. Her parents, knowing how this establishment operates, doesn¿t want her to go, but her host family insists, so her adventure during that 1960¿s summer begins.I can¿t really call this a ¿coming of age¿ novel because Natalie has a very strong sense of self, even as a young girl, but as she matures, her sense of self deepens and she seems to understand, or perhaps appreciate her Jewish roots more. Natalie is a pleasure to know. She flounders a bit with her personal life, but she never seems the worse for it and her pragmatic way of dealing with life made for pleasurable reading.I¿ve heard of Elinor Lipman before but have never read any of her books. The Inn at Lake Devine is my first experience with her writing. Her writing is very authentic with a touch of sarcasm thrown in. The writing is humorous, but not overly so. I especially enjoyed her depictions of ¿family¿ and the interactions between parent and child.I was also charmed by the setting. A lakeside hotel in Vermont? I¿m so there. I could see the porch, the out-buildings and the shimmering lake. It all felt so genuine to me.As far as pace, I breezed through the book and read it in one sitting. There was one spot where it dragged a tad, and got a bit silly, but not enough to make me want to put it down. The first person narrative threw me off a couple of times. I don¿t read too many novels written in this narrative but it seemed to fit.An interesting tidbit¿apparently such a letter existed. Lipman¿s mother remembered the wording of the letter she received one summer, and it became the inspiration for this story.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A really great story with a bunch of great characters. A funny love story with a tinge of sadness. Natalie Marx is my heroine!
earito on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Inn at Lake Devine is a funny romantic comedy. It takes you though the life of a jew being segregated though a hotel who wont let them stay there. The hotel manager and the jew's family end up being great friends in the long run and the son of the owner falls in love with the jew being segregated from his familys resort in the fisrt place. The plot is very engaging and the author keeps you on your feet though well thought humor.
LesaHolstine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl resents the Anti-Semitism at a rsort lodge & spends her life attacking it.
AMcComas12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have read recently. It shows how true love can overcome almost any obstacle. The characters come from very different religous backgrounds. One being Jewish and the other having a family owned Anti-Semitc hotel. The characters met at the wedding then funeral of an old friend. While their backgrounds clash they are able to see each other for who they really are raher than the religous lable they wear.
swl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I remember right, this is one of her highest-reviewed books. I read Alice Thrift first (found it thru the Contra Costa book club night, where she spoke) and Bob and I both liked it¿I thought the characters were different and engaging enough to be really fresh. What I loved about this book ¿ I suspected through out that the kernel (the letter stating jews not welcome) had actually occured and burned an indelible path in EL¿s memory, and at the end of the book, it turns out it¿s true ¿ but it happened to her mother or something. Also I love the little bits that are truly rich and unexpected, just little tiny plot bumps that are really creative. Also, the men are wonderful in this book, for all their weaknesses, they are really likeable. Now I¿m thinking about it, I think it was the gentle treatment of all the characters that worked for me ¿ it was charming and uplifting too.
jedisluzer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elinor Lipman gives her character such a smart distinctive voice. This is one of those novels that, in the hands of someone else, would just be a romance. I somehow find myself re-reading and re-reading this one.
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TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
"It was not complicated, and, as my mother pointed out, not even personal. They had a hotel; they didn't want Jews; we were Jews." So begins the story of young Natalie Marx and her infatuation with the Inn at Lake Devine. Natalie's mother sends an inquiry to the Vermont hotel inquiring about summer accommodations for her and her family, and receives a polite, but firm note back indicating that the hotel does not do business with Jews. Shocked, but intrigued, Natalie wonders about the person who wrote the note and in her own way, stages a rebellion from afar. However, when Natalie discovers that a friend visits the Inn each summer, she realizes that it's a chance of a lifetime and manages to get the family to invite her to join them for the summer. Her parents, knowing how this establishment operates, doesn't want her to go, but her host family insists, so her adventure during that 1960's summer begins. I can't really call this a "coming of age" novel because Natalie has a very strong sense of self, even as a young girl, but as she matures, her sense of self deepens and she seems to understand, or perhaps appreciate her Jewish roots more. Natalie is a pleasure to know. She flounders a bit with her personal life, but she never seems the worse for it and her pragmatic way of dealing with life made for pleasurable reading. I've heard of Elinor Lipman before but have never read any of her books. The Inn at Lake Devine is my first experience with her writing. Her writing is very authentic with a touch of sarcasm thrown in. The writing is humorous, but not overly so. I especially enjoyed her depictions of "family" and the interactions between parent and child. I was also charmed by the setting. A lakeside hotel in Vermont? I'm so there. I could see the porch, the out-buildings and the shimmering lake. It all felt so genuine to me. As far as pace, I breezed through the book and read it in one sitting. There was one spot where it dragged a tad, and got a bit silly, but not enough to make me want to put it down. The first person narrative threw me off a couple of times. I don't read too many novels written in this narrative but it seemed to fit. An interesting tidbit.apparently such a letter existed. Lipman's mother remembered the wording of the letter she received one summer, and it became the inspiration for this story.
joiseygoil More than 1 year ago
Started out great and then died on my. Love the premis and like the writing but it got silly really. These places still remain and will ever be a blight on our society but people are allowed to believe what they will. I wanted a different, more logical ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago