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My Latest Grievance

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,676 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
My Latest Grievance stars the beguiling teenager Frederica Hatch, the "Eloise of Dewing College." Born and raised in the dormitory of this small women's college and chafing under the care of "the most annoyingly evenhanded parental team in the history of civilization," Frederica is starting to feel that her life is stiflingly snug. That all changes with the arrival on camp ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Mariner Books (first published 2006)
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May 20, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
This was my second Elinor Lipman book, having really enjoyed "The Family Man" and wanting more of her bright, cheeky humor and colorful characters. In "My Latest Grievance," we meet the very unconventional Hatch family, comprised of professors Aviva and David, and their precocious 16-year-old daughter Frederica. The Professors Hatch are both proud leftists, who, when not teaching, investigate possible union violations as reported by the faculty. As faithful anti-materialists, they have lived as ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Raina rated it it was ok
By all accounts, I should have liked this book more. The plot and storyline were new, which I appreciated, but still lacked something that made them irresistable. I found that I could put this book down for a few days without wondering what was going to happen next. The characters were interesting in a 2-dimensional way; though Grace Woodbury turns out to be the most interesting and dynamic (in a way, of sorts) character. The story ends happily, but not before briefly touching on some of the hea ...more
Jan 21, 2016 MaggyGray rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books-in-2016
Dieses Buch hat mich wirklich überrascht. Eigentlich war es als "Lückenfüller" gedacht, weil es mir spontan in die Hände fiel, und ich mir dachte, da es nicht allzu dick ist, lese ich es sozusagen zwischendurch.

In dieser Geschichte geht es um Frederica Hatch, die in einem Mädchen-College aufwächst, in dem ihre Eltern - Dr. Aviva Hatch und Dr. David Hatch - als Dozenten tätig sind, und als erstes Ehepaar mit Kind in einem der Wohnheime als Hauseltern wohnen. Die Eltern von Frederica sind sehr lib
May 21, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
What an enjoyable romp through the worlds of parent-child relationships and the ivory palaces--well, in this case a very, very pale ivory--of a college campus. It's 1976 and Frederica Hatch is turning 16 years old. She has lived all of her life in a dorm at Dewing College, a second-rate all-women's college in Massachusetts, where her parents are professors, dorm parents, and union activists. Frederica has had hundreds of "older sisters", the freedom to move freely around the campus, and because ...more
May 29, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Listening to this one on CD. Enjoying it a lot so far. Might add another star if I like the way it ends.

Update: I finished listening to it this morning, and decided to add that 4th star because I found the book thoroughly enjoyable. It's not great literature, but the competent writing, the plot developments, and the lively, mostly likeable characters kept me looking forward to the next chance I'd have to listen.

I lived on a campus as a child (a boys' high school where my father was headmaster,
Sep 09, 2009 Youndyc rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio edition of this book, and I think that added one full star to my rating. The story itself is good - I've never read anything by Elinor Lipman before, so I had no clear expectations in terms of style or character development. I thought she did a good job of developing a subtle portrait of college campus life from that faculty perspective. I work on a college campus, and I think the small and subtle but very accurate comments about the campus environment were hysterically o ...more
Dec 27, 2007 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not-too-discriminating chick-lit fans
Sometimes, in my heart, I get Elinor Lipman and Susan Isaacs mixed up--especially since Isaacs' last few books have been less awesome than when she was at her apex. This book is definitely Lipman, though--the characters who are just on the one-note side of well rounded, the precocious young character who thinks she wants all kinds of things that she doesn't want, the sensible characters who are swept away by a vacuous, glamorous whirlwind of a character.

I liked this book, but now, several month
Mar 20, 2016 Merrilee rated it liked it
My first book by this author and she is quite a story teller. The story is kind of crazy, but, entertaining. It is set on a college campus and is narrated by the precocious daughter of two liberal professors. The former wife of the male professor arrives on campus to take up residence as a dorm mother and her character and antics provide the basis of this wacky story.
Oct 26, 2010 Kwoomac rated it really liked it
Shelves: sassy-teen
I love a sassy teen. When others described her as a brat, I laughed and urged her on. The story revolves around teen Frederica Hatch, who has grown up on the grounds of a (fictitious) college in Brookline.Her parents, professors and dorm parents, are committed to treating their daughter as an equal. As a result, they share a lot of info with her, they let her make her own decisions, and they're proud of her when she speaks up for herself and others. Their cozy life spins out of control when Fred ...more
Apr 30, 2009 CLM rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this - like all Lipman heroines, Frederica is sarcastic, funny, and always right. The other characters are often way over the top but always entertaining and somehow convincing. I especially liked the description of the Blizzard of '78, which I lived through just a few miles away, and the description of the third tier college where Frederica's parents have taught since before she was born.

I am looking forward to seeing the author later this month at the Brookline Booksmith. Thos
May 22, 2014 Beth rated it liked it
I did really like this book but I can't quite give it 4 stars. It is classified in my library as adult fiction but it seems more like teen to me. The main character is a 16 year old girl who has grown up on the campus of an all girl college because her parents are house parents and professors there. It takes place in the 1970's which would seem like historical fiction to teens. Very witty writing but it just seemed like the ending wrapped itself up too neatly. Also, the young girl seems intent o ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Alistair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
To my mind, Lipman can do no wrong. The follow-up to her splendid The pursuit of Alice Thrift is the the wonderfully acerbic My latest grievance, an affectionate satire on American liberal academia circa 1978. Drs. Aviva and David Hatch have raised their daughter Frederika as an equal on every conceivable level. By the time she's sixteen she can not only run rings around her parents, and can see through the psycho-babble with which she's been raised, but has, in a sense, assumed the parental rol ...more
Deborah Balsham
Oct 21, 2015 Deborah Balsham rated it really liked it
This was not really my kind of book. Hoffman is a literary writer. :) Someone had given it to me. However, it was very well written and subtly amusing. I did enjoy it. It doesn't hurt to break out of a reading rut.
Patricia Herlevi
Jan 11, 2016 Patricia Herlevi rated it liked it
I warmed up to Elinor Lipman's My Latest Grievance and I admit it took me over a week to read this short novel. A sassy teen narrates the story, but this is definitely adult and not young adult literature that takes place in 1978 at a little known academy in the northeastern US. The main character of the novel however, is Laura Lee French, a former fake Rockette who stirs up controversy in a stuffy environment. Yes, she's a narcissist, but one that has each of us questioning our own values about ...more
Apr 26, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
very, very funny and intelligent. teenager raised by east coast radicals in the 70s in a dorm at a third-rate women's college. both the parents are social scientists, and the daughter is equal parts dumb teenager and clever patient two steps ahead of her therpaist parents. there are some solid reminders that men are the worst, and were even more so pre-dna testing. and some good reminders that liberals can be super irritating but are still the good guys. when I read dyed-in-the-wool socialist ch ...more
May 02, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Get ready to stay up late, skip class, not eat...because you really won't be able to put this books down. One of the most endearing main characters in modern literature!
Mar 16, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Elinor Lipman is not someone I'd heard of till recently. I bought my mother one of her books, and she really enjoyed it, so I thought that I would try her out. Well, she's a clever writer and tells a good story. It was neat to get a glimpse into life of a small American college, and Lipman does it all from the POV of a precocious teenager, who literally grows up in a dormitory, with her Ph.D parents offering her their (at the time) liberal upbringing. I'll have to check, but the subject material ...more
Scott Pierce
Jul 10, 2015 Scott Pierce rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-2000s
After reading The View from Penthouse B tried another one by Lipman and thought it was great – an intertwined story set in a second-rate NE University involving a faculty couple, their savvy daughter, and the return of the glamorous first wife of the husband/father to the university – the daughter narrates, and at the end says of the girl she is mentoring, the daughter of the glamorous first wife – “And I always confirm, in good conscience, what her mother raised her to believe: that every chara ...more
Elly Wendy
May 09, 2013 Elly Wendy rated it did not like it
ho-hum... Not getting this one.
CMac G
Jun 12, 2015 CMac G rated it it was ok
Synopsis: Young girl narrates story of her life with a focus on one particular teenage year when her father's ex-wife enters the picture. She is child of two very liberal professors who start a union and pursue grievances. She grows up in a dorm of an all girls college as her parents are the house parents and is treated as a pet by each class. Her parents overshare information with her and encourage her to participate in any conversation with virtually no boundaries. As this family of three navi ...more
Nov 01, 2009 Ashley rated it it was ok
By all accounts, I should have liked this book more.

"My Latest Grievance" is about Frederica, a 16 year old student, who lives on the campus of a local all-girls college, Dewing. Her parents are both professors at Dewing and also houseparents of one of the dorms. Frederica grew up at Dewing and enjoys a certain celebrity on campus. This, coupled with her parents' unique parenting style - calls parents by first names, is privy to any and all discussion/decisions, is treated like an adult - make
Elizabeth Quinn
Nov 08, 2010 Elizabeth Quinn rated it it was ok
An academic novel told by the teenage daughter of two earnest 1970s professors who all live in a dorm where the profs serve as house parents to the young women who attend their 3rd-rate college in Brookline, Mass. As usual with a Lipman heroine, Frederica Hatch gets off a lot of great lines, some of them laugh-out-loud funny. The story kicks off when her father's glamorous ex-wife -- whose existence is a complete surprise to Frederica -- arrives on campus to take up her duties as house mother at ...more
Oct 08, 2008 Dawn rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I think this is the second book by Elinor Lipman that I have 'read', and I've enjoyed them both. This story focuses on a husband and wife who are dorm parents and professors at an all girls university outside of Boston in the 1970's, and their daughter who grows up in the dorms. The story takes a turn when a distant cousin of the father, who also happens to be the ex-wife of the father (a little gross, but whatever), shows up as a dorm mother of another dorm.

I liked the story enough, and I would
Julie Marks
Dec 17, 2013 Julie Marks rated it really liked it
Life is anything but normal for 16 (going on 30) year old Frederica Hatch who has spent her entire life living with her union activist, psychology professor parents in a tiny dorm room at the small, all women's Dewing College just outside of Boston. She has matured well beyond her years thanks to her parents' tendency to practice psychology and honesty all day long to a point that makes her wonder whether honesty really is the best policy such as when her parents make her Barbie dolls anatomical ...more
Rosina Lippi
Jan 16, 2010 Rosina Lippi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrator of this first person novel is Frederica Hatch, the only child of two ultra liberal professors whose primary purpose in life is bringing her up to be a strong, well adjusted, analytical and happy person. Frederica makes fun of her parents but it's clear at all times how much she loves and depends on them.

The setting for this novel is a small fictional college outside Boston, one with no pretensions to academic excellence. An all woman's college that not so long ago was community coll
Jul 05, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
The Inn at Lake Devine is one of my all-time favorite books about a girl who battles an anti-Semitic sentiments from a family (mostly the mother) that runs a summer vacation spot. I read that when I was 14, I believe. ANYWAY, the point is, Elinor Lipman wrote said novel and this one as well. I honestly haven't read any other books by Lipman since Lake Devine (mostly because I started reading another of her novel's and was so completely turned off because the main character was 40+ in age... I ju ...more
Jun 30, 2008 Punk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiction. It's 1978 and this is the story of sixteen-year-old Frederica Hatch, her liberal parents, and the all-girls college where they teach social sciences and live in a dorm as houseparents. It's a good story. Frederica's parents treat her as an equal, dissect their every reaction for its sociological and psychological underpinnings, and generally behave like sheltered intellectuals who believe every problem can be solved through reasoned discourse. They're pretty adorable. As the story progr ...more
Oct 20, 2009 melydia rated it really liked it
16-year-old Frederica Hatch lives in a tiny on-campus apartment with her professor parents who double as dorm-parents at a small women's college near Boston. As the daughter of a sociologist and a psychologist, both die-hard unionists, not to mention being raised around hundreds of college girls, Frederica is a little different from most girls her age. Things start to get interesting when melodramatic Rockette-wannabe Laura Lee French shows up as dorm mother for another building. She is not only ...more
Jan 10, 2011 Nelie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually listened to this as an audiobook begun on the trip to see family for the holidays. It's a great audiobook, for those of you interested, the actress reading it does a marvelous job with the different voices. You really forget it's the same person speaking the lines of the different characters. As a story I found it fun in a fairly light sort of way--as a pointed parody of academic life at a small unexceptional all women's college--and I also enjoyed the historical setting which was the ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Elinor Lipman's eighth novel (after The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, **** Sept/Oct 2003) exhibits her trademark social satire, facility with dialogue, and humor. Like her other novels, it addresses themes close to the heart: the bonds between parents and children and between fiction and reality. Covering a few decades, the novel offers a smart, funny protagonist and outlandish, if highly realistic, situations. Yet while the Seattle Times called the novel Lipman's "best work so far" and the Washingto

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Elinor Lipman is the author of eight novels about contemporary American society and a collection of short stories. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, Lipman graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in Western Massachusetts and Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001. Her novels Then She Found Me, The Ladies' Man, and The Pursuit o ...more
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“It was a noteworthy lesson, even for someone who'd been fed a daily diet of italicized lessons: that people in high places, luminaries with advanced degrees in Classics and in possession of excellent manners, can disappoint you as profoundly as anyone else.” 7 likes
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