The Family Man
A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend Henry Archer's life. Henry is a lawyer, an old-fashioned man, gay, successful, and lonely. Thalia, his stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage, is now twenty-nine, an actress, hopeful and estranged from her newly...more
Henry's ex-wife Denise had a girl from a previous marriage who Henry adopted when he was married to Denise. But soon the philandering Denise moved on to another man - Glen. Henry let Glen adopt the girl and he stayed out of her life.
But at the very beginning of the story, Glen dies and it is some 10+ years later. Henry finds his long lost adopted daughter Thalia and they...more
Henry Arhcer is the gay ex-husband of an exasperating woman named Denise, who has just lost hubby #3 to a heart attack. Henry sends a condolence note, which Denise latches on to as a way to get Henry back into her life as a pal and as a lawyer, since Denise's two stepsons have been left her husband's entire massive estate.
The story also i...more
Set in Manhattan where the real estate, shopping and eateries detail are generously depicted - I was hooked from page one where we get introduced to still good-looking gay retired lawyer Henry looking forward to a loveless...more
Henry's a middle-aged gay man whose ex-wife calls him hysterically one day because her new husband has died without naming her the primary beneficiary of his estate. Meanwhile, Henry recognizes his ex-wife's daughter (Henry's ex-step...more
It's a charming bit of wish fulfillment that will keep you delightfully entertained as you roll along, and make little to no sense in retrospect. Wannabe actress Thalia, who flirts with everyone and wears her step-grandmother's clothes, is the kind of person who's deliciously fun in fiction and who you'd want to bash her head in with a brick after two days if you knew her...more
The story's premise is sort of cute, if a bit trite and wholly unrealistic - an older gay guy was a step dad and then adopted dad to his brief wife's daughter f...more
Her novels are billed as "screwball comedies," I'm assuming alluding to Cary Grant or Rosiland Russell films, or something like that. But Lipman gi...more
Initially, we meet Henry's ex-wife, whom he hasn't heard from in 25 years, bitching about her long-ago pre-nup being enforced by her stepson: she was to get everything should her third husband (Henry was second) die after their 25th anniversary; he only made it to #24. So, she's now reduced to "penury" as a result (an allowance that would still put her in the top 1% or so of U. S. households). Ugh!
I classified this as chick lit because one of the main characters is a young...more
In the end, I must say the book felt a bit long... and that statement obviously doesn't jibe well with the previous. I felt that some of the plot strings were less interesting (Denise and her house and whether or not she was cheat...more
Retired gay lawyer Henry Archer reunites with adopted daughter Thalia after her second adopted father's death. It was 24 years after he gave up a custody battle that had him painted as unfit because of his sexuality. It may sound complicated but it's really not because "The Family Man" is about witty dialog. This is a book to read after reading a book about extreme hardship, and you look forward to a diversion.
There's nothing really bad about this novel; it just w...more
Most of Elinor Lipman's novels hinge on complicated wisps of plots, but their comedic lightness rarely detracts from their enjoyment. Reviewers agree that perhaps the best elements in a new Lipman novel are the characters — heartfelt, civilized, completely engaging, and never less than fully human. The Family Man, set in Manhattan rather than Lipman's usual haunting grounds of New England, doesn't disappoint in its portrayal of complex family relationships and use of exquisite language. Only the...more
While a fine family-relationship novel, it isn't exactly Austin-esque. I liked the characters and the setting of modern-day Manhattan, it lacked the humor that I find in many of Austin books. But, I loved the protagonist Henry, and his step-daughter Thalia, and the characters of Todd and Lillian.
My two quibbles with the book is that the "name dro...more