cover image Then She Found Me

Then She Found Me

Elinor Lipman. Pocket Books, $18.95 (307pp) ISBN 978-0-671-68614-7

In an enchanting tale of love in assorted forms, Lipman, author of the well-received collection of short stories Into Love and Out Again , delivers a first novel full of charm, humor and unsentimental wisdom. At age 36, April Epner, her adoptive parents recently deceased, is quite satisfied with her quiet, self-sufficient, solitary life as a Latin teacher in a suburban Boston high school. Then she is claimed by her birth mother, Bernice Graverman, star hostess of Boston's popular, gossipy morning TV talk show, Bernice G! Loud and self-centered, always on-stage Bernice, who was 17 when she gave April up for adoption, barrels her way into her self-effacing daughter's life, wreaking havoc all around. Not the least of these occasions occurs after April, bullied into bringing a date to a dinner with Bernice, invites the only available man she knows, the apparently nerdy school librarian, whose shy exterior hides unexpected virtues. Lipman displays a sure, light touch while charting the various transformations that love performs. Raising laughter and tears with acutely observed characterizations and dry, affectionate wit, she also keeps dealing out the surprises, leaving readers smiling long after the last page is turned. Literary Guild alternate. (Apr.)