The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Rebecca Miller, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $22 (239p) ISBN 978-0-374-23742-4

In this promising first novel, screenwriter/director Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose ) probes the life of housewife Pippa Lee. Fifty-year-old Pippa lives a contented life with her older husband, Herb. However, everything changes when Herb announces that they are leaving Manhattan for a retirement community. Unsettled in her new home, Pippa begins sleepwalking through life—literally. She catches herself on a security camera cooking and eating while unconscious, then finds evidence that her somnambulist self has taken up smoking. In light of her erratic behavior, Pippa reconsiders the life she has built for herself and the example she is setting for her two grown children: raised by a pill-addicted mother, Pippa ran away from home at 17 and struggled with drugs, abusive relationships and her own feelings of guilt before looking for redemption in the family that she now worries is falling apart. Pippa's struggle to break the “chain of misunderstandings and adjustments” that passes from parent to child is moving. Despite a few moments of overwrought melodrama, the story's held together by Miller's sincere and intelligent protagonist. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-4416-2
Hardcover - 351 pages - 978-1-4104-1156-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-4415-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4332-4417-9
Hardcover - 233 pages - 978-1-84767-245-2
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