Karen's Reviews > The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller
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's review
Dec 29, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: first-reads
Read in December, 2009

When thinking about the plot and the main character, I wonder why I liked this book. But I did. Must be because of good writing.

Basic plot: The book begins with the main character, Pippa Lee, a 50-year old woman having just moved into an old-folks retirement community with her 80-year old husband. She is by far the youngest resident of the community. She starts having weird sleep-walking incidents that she doesn't remember, including gorging on eggs, smoking a pack of cigarettes, and even driving to the convenience store. The story then goes into a series of flashbacks to basically show how she ended up there -- her childhood (with speedfreak mother), running away from home, sex clubs, meeting her husband, her relationship with her grown children, etc.

She kind of wanders through life letting things happen to her rather than taking any responsibility or control. (I'm writing this carefully to not reveal anything crucial)I wish the end were a little different. Though she does make a choice at the end, she still does not take control of her life -- basically does not seem to progress as a character.

I liked this book more than the plot might imply. Also, though I tend to not like characters who simply let the world act upon them, I found Pippa to be engaging, complex, and interesting. I definitely recommend this book if you are in the mood for an engaging, character-driven cerebral read.

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