In the Meantime

Robin Lippincott, Author . Toby $22.95 (170p) ISBN 978-1-59264-200-7

The third novel from Lippincott (Mr. Dalloway ) offers a curious, bittersweet study of the more or less unremarkable lives of three fast friends. Kathryn, Luke and Starling meet as children in their anonymous Midwestern small town on a 1931 summer's day, and soon become closer than siblings. The three eventually fulfill a childhood dream, concocted by Kathryn, to move to Manhattan, where they share an apartment. There, Kathryn attends college; Luke works his way up from the mail room at a major publishing house; and Star pursues acting, only to find that being biracial keeps him from getting major roles. Lippincott uses a very Virginia Woolf–like free and direct style to hone in on his main characters, and to triangulate them. He takes the three through high school (including some clunky sexual encounters), then shifts to clipped year-by-year recountings of the 1950s. The latter chapters reveal their struggles to fit into the arts culture. Most successful is the concluding section, set on September 7, 2001, in which Kathryn poignantly reflects on her life. The book's pleasures outweigh the many moments of overreaching. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Paperback - 170 pages - 978-1-59264-253-3
Paperback - 170 pages - 978-1-61218-244-5
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