Published: Lightning Books (March 2020)

ISBN: 9781785632006

On Turpentine Lane

Elinor Lipman


‘Light and tight… constructed with an almost scary mastery’ New York Times

At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater.

It’s a peaceful life and surely, with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane, her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state). And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he’s Chagall.

When she finds some mysterious artefacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, office-mate par excellence...






‘Such brilliant news that Elinor Lipman’s new books are going to be published in the UK. I’ve been a huge fan of her novels for so many years. Her writing is witty, astute and deliciously dry, and I’m delighted to be able to share my love her work with a wider audience

Jill Mansell

‘Delightful! I read it in one day—truly a peak reading experience. Every page was packed with wonders’

Maria Semple


‘Elinor Lipman applies her singular brand of warm zaniness to Faith’s dilemma… She has taken lessons from our great chroniclers of the quotidian, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Jane Austen. The result provides a light but serious antidote to what ails us all these days’

Washington Post

‘Light and tight, On Turpentine Lane is constructed with an almost scary mastery. Not a single thread dangles, not a single character is left without a place. The story folds out and back in as neatly as an origami flower, and Faith recounts it all with a raised eyebrow and plenty of cheek’

New York Times

‘A romantic comedy with just enough sly wit to keep it from turning sugary’

O (The Oprah Magazine)

‘Genuine, deft and witty, Lipman’s On Turpentine Lane, doesn’t skewer American contemporary life as much as roast it’

National Book Review

‘With a witty cast of characters and her usual delightful dialogue and insightful observations of human behavior, she captures the complications of modern love’

Publishers Weekly

‘If my life ever gets rewritten as a rom-com novel, I’d want Elinor Lipman to do it; she has a way of crafting books so utterly charming that you want to set up residence inside them. And yet, in a seemingly effortless balance, she’s never saccharine, but writes in a wry, warm, we’re-all-friends-here-so-let’s-have-a-drink tone’

Seattle Times

‘Warm, clever, a little silly, a lot of fun’

Kirkus Reviews

‘Delightful and amusing… reminiscent of madcap romantic comedies of 1940s Hollywood. A highly engaging, charming read’

New York Journal of Books



Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman was born in Massachusetts and is the author of a dozen novels and counting. Her first one, Then She Found Me, was published in 1990 and was adapted into a film starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler and Colin Firth. She won the New England Book Award in 2001, and her novel My Latest Grievance won the Paterson Fiction Prize.

She lives in Manhattan, as well as in upstate New York. She is married with one son.

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