Then She Found Me

Then She Found Me


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April Epner teaches high school Latin, wears flannel jumpers, and is used to having her evenings free. Bernice Graverman brandishes designer labels, favors toad-sized earrings, and hosts her own tacky TV talk show: Bernice G!
But behind the glitz and glam, Bernice has followed the life of the daughter she gave up for adoption thirty-six years ago. Now that she's got her act together, she's aiming to be a mom like she always knew she could. And she's hurtling straight for April's quiet little life....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671686154
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 04/28/1991
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 307
Sales rank: 815,109
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Elinor Lipman's most recent novel is The Dearly Departed. She has taught writing at Simmons, Hampshire, and Smith colleges, and lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and son.


Northampton, Massachusetts, and New York, New York

Date of Birth:

October 16, 1950

Place of Birth:

Lowell, Massachusetts


A.B., Simmons College, 1972; Honorary Doctor of Letters, Simmons College, 2000

Read an Excerpt


My biological mother was seventeen when she had me in 1952, and even that was more than I wanted to know about her. I had no romantic notions about the coupling that had produced me, not about her being cheerleader to his football captain or au pair to his Rockefeller. When I thought about it at all, this is what I imagined: two faceless and cheap teenagers doing it listlessly in the unfinished basement where they jitterbugged unchaperoned.

"Adopted" was never a label that made me flinch. Its meaning within our family was "hand-selected,'' "starcrossed," "precious." I loved the story of my parents' first glimpse o f me at the agency, how I solemnly studied their faces — hers, his, back to hers — then grinned. I was raised to be glad that the unlucky teenage girl couldn't keep me; the last thing I wanted was some stranger for a mother. Still, I slept with a light on i n my bedroom until I was twelve, afraid she'd exercise her rights.

Later it annoyed me. The teenage girl annoyed me, nothing more. Could she ever have worn real maternity clothes or taken a single prenatal vitamin on my behalf? Here is where I remember to feel relief and gratitude and say, no matter. I am healthy, happy, better off. It is a lucky thing she didn't keep me. I'd barely have finished high school. I'd have become a beautician or a licensed practical nurse, and I would think I had a glamorous career. The grittier I made it the more righteous I felt. I invented these jitterbugging teenagers when I was in junior high school, as my adoptive parents began to look old. I voted against the irresponsible kids, emphatically for the Epners. My story suited me and I grew to believe it. I did not attend support groups for adoptees and I did not search for anyone.

Then she found me.

Copyright © 1990 by Elinor Lipman

Customer Reviews

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Then She Found Me 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd read and enjoyed Elinor Lipman before ('Isabel's Bed' and 'The Inn at Lake Devine') but still was unprepared for this one. The premise is completely original and the characters are as funny as they are true-to-life. April Epner has always been content with her life and with her adoptive parents, never feeling the inclination to search for her birth mother. But then Bernice Graverman (aka 'Bernice G!', a larger-than-life TV personality) turns up and announces that she is April's birth mother -- and April's well-ordered existence is turned upside down. The relationship April and Bernice forge together is by turns harrowing and hilarious, but is definitely never dull. This is my favorite Elinor Lipman novel yet, and I can't wait to read the rest of her work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a light read that made me smile and touched on relationship issues that are relevant to us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By chance, I was looking for another writer in the L section at Barnes & Noble, happened upon Then She Found Me, and was hooked immediatley. A great story about a larger than life birth mother who decides, some 35 years later, to finally invade her daughter's life. Great premise, characters and wit. I read the book in two days, then ran back to B&N and picked up other books by Lipman--Isabel's Bed, The Inn at Lake Devine and The Way Men Act. A wonderful writer who hasn't received the credit she deserves.
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
April Epner, adopted daughter of two Holocaust survivors, never really thought much about her birth mother. When her mother Bernice, local TV celebrity and drama queen extraordinaire, shows up out of nowhere, April's fairly quiet life as a single Latin teacher of 36 will never be the same.By turns sweet and hilarious, this was a fun story set in Boston. The characters were great: I could sympathize with April's mixed feelings towards Bernice (who was sort of annoying but such a funny, wonderful character, too) while they get to know each other. The narrator, Mia Barron, did a fabulous job interpreting the characters and made the dialogue that much more enjoyable. This was my first time using a Playaway, and while I found the format so-so (the sound was tinny and if I fell asleep without pausing it, I had to start over at the beginning of a chapter), the story itself made up for it.
Dixonimous on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enchanting, funny, warm-hearted and full of wisdomI enjoyed reading this novel. Well, I needed some time to get to know the characters and to get drawn into the story but as soon as this had happened I really enjoyed the well written book. This is not a fairy tale about fantasy people you can classify in white and black. It´s a story about real people, who fall in love, make mistakes and how they cope with that.Whenever I started to hate Bernice Graves because of her egoistical way of life and about her always wanting to be the centre of everything the story took a little turn so that I coulnd´t think in white and black any longer. Compelling, lovely written and with such a nice love relationship full of heart and warmth, which everbody should have to be happy.But I was really dissapointed to find out that the film-adaption doesn´t follow the contents of the novel. What a pity!
autumnesf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book about a birth mother that finds her adult daughter and the relationship that ensues.
StoutHearted on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
High-school Latin teacher April has just lost her adoptive parents when her birth mother comes into her life like a whirlwind. She is Bernice G, known for a housewife-approved, early-morning talk show and expects April to fawn all over her. April tentatively enters into a lunch-date relationship with the boisterous woman and tries to sort out the many lies and half-truths about her past. Helping her research some of Bernice's whoppers (such as her birth dad was JFK) is her school's librarian Dwight. Much like April is initially repulsed by Bernice, but warms up to her, so does April slowly fall for Dwight. Their courtship is awkward but content in its simplicity (a date at a Shaker farm!) and they seem very right for one another.The characters are humerous, sympathetic, and relateable. There's no great conflict here, merely the timeline of Bernice's and April's gradual understanding of one another. Bernice's antics drive the story and, like April, we are alternately exasperated and charmed by her.
readingfiend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was really funny. The birth mother was a little crazy - she was a local talk show host and I enjoyed the way the daughter didn't fall into her traps. A very enjoyable story.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was Elinor Lipman's first novel -- fun as usual.
GranbyLibraryBookClub More than 1 year ago
A story of a mother who gave her daughter up for adoption then went on to become a local TV celeb, this story has a few developed characters, the story did not peak at any point making this book a bland read. There is humor which saves the story. It's a light, fun read - if that is what you are looking for. Our book group loves this author's other books, this one not so much.
DaisyZoro40 More than 1 year ago
I admit I was forced into reading this book as part of an assignment for Engligh Lit; otherwise, I would have never picked up this book. After reading just the first paragraph, I was hooked! Elinor Lipman does a fantastic job making you feel like you are right there with the characters. I almost felt like I was invading in on a private conversation. Her imagery of words are intoxicating! Beware that the movie is a complete opposite of the book! So if you have to write a paper -- writters beware and read the book!
MrsO More than 1 year ago
I watched the dvd before purchasing the book, and the movie is completely different from the book. I enjoyed both, but the movie was more touching and emotional. I kept picturing Helen Hunt and Bette Midler, but was wondering who would have played the part of Dwight from the book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book after seeing a preview for the Helen Hunt movie based on this book. This book is nothing like the movie, other than the fact that the biological mother finds the daughter that she gave up 30-some years earlier. I was disappointed because the story line of the movie was much different, and funnier. The book is okay. The characters are a bit annoying and not very likable. It gave me a few laughs, but I would not recommend it.