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My Latest Grievance

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,589 ratings  ·  221 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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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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,
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
What an enjoyable read. I love authors that can pull off this acerbic tone without sounding sarcastic. This is my first Lipman and I am certain to read some more of her work. She really reminds of Jonathan Tropper (which I also really like). This story just hops along at a very pleasant pace, even after the big event (which I did see coming). I loved the relationship between all our protagonists, but in particular I enjoyed reading the way Frederica plays her parents. A good mix of light and dar ...more
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
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
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 3 of 5 stars
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
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
ho-hum... Not getting this one.
CMac G
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

Blimi Marcus
I like Elinor Lipman. I really do. I liked The Family Man. I was prepared to like this. And I loved her writing, her satire, the story. But it was just too too much. Too screwball, too much dialogue, too much witticism, I got a headache just trying to follow along. Seriously, I had to keep putting the book down. Too bad. I will continue to read her books though, because I like her writing and her good analyses of human character.
Chi Dubinski
Frederica Hatch is the sixteen year old daughter of Dewing College professors--David and Aviva. In addition to teaching, her parents are dorm houseparents. Frederica has grown up on campus, eating in the dining hall, attending the local public high school, and being treated as an equal by her left leaning, union activist parents. She likens herself to the "Eloise of Dewing College."

But when her father's ex-wife takes a job as a houseparent at Dewing, their lives are about to change. (Who even kn
o Frederica was raised on a college campus where her liberal parents work. She finds out her dad was married previously and the ex shows up for a job on campus. This is a story about her life and the dramas that occur after the ex arrives.
o 05/20/2012 – 5 – I finished it but wouldn’t recommend it
Jill Gilbert
Lipman deftly draws the reader into the world of Frederica Hatch, a 16 year-old girl in the late 1970's who has grown up in the dormitory of a small women's college in the Boston area. Her parents are professors (of sociology and psychology) who are dorm parents and have raised her as their friend and equal. Frederica's world is upturned when she learns her father was married to a flighty dancer when he met her mother. The dancer in question arrives on campus to be the dorm parent at the next do ...more
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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
More about Elinor Lipman...
The Inn at Lake Devine The Family Man Then She Found Me The View from Penthouse B Isabel's Bed

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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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