cover image Tips for Living

Tips for Living

Renée Shafransky. Lake Union, $24.95 (332p) ISBN 978-1-50394-922-5

Nora Glasser, the plucky narrator of Shafransky’s assured first novel, leaves New York City for the Long Island town of Pequod after her marriage to famous painter Hugh Walker ends bitterly. More than two years later, she’s established herself in the community, writing a humorous column, “Tips for Living,” for the local paper. Then Hugh and his new wife, Helene, purchase a lavish Pequod vacation home, forcing awkward encounters and reminding Nora of the humiliating divorce. When the cruel and manipulative Hugh and Helene are shot in their bed—in exactly the way Nora has fantasized about—she finds evidence she’s been sleepwalking and wonders whether she’s guilty. A rich supporting cast, including Nora’s prickly but supportive editor and the well-drawn Pequod residents, highlight real-world dilemmas, from care for elderly relatives to difficulties faced by year-rounders in a town overrun by wealthy weekenders. Readers will cheer Nora every step of the way as she strives to prove her innocence. Agent: Lucy Childs, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. (Feb.)