Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On Turpentine Lane” as Want to Read:
On Turpentine Lane
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On Turpentine Lane

by
3.55  ·  Rating details ·  7,623 ratings  ·  1,195 reviews
At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It's a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her te ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On Turpentine Lane, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lorraine Robins
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kathy Fish Why no discussion questions for this book at any of the normal sites?
Wasn't it up to par for discussion questions...?
Very strange indeed!…more
Why no discussion questions for this book at any of the normal sites?
Wasn't it up to par for discussion questions...?
Very strange indeed!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,623 ratings  ·  1,195 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of On Turpentine Lane
Jill
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like Eleanor Lipman. She always delivers with novels that are warm and perceptive, a tad bit kooky, and often whimsical. Best of all, she makes it all seem easy, although I know that writing is anything BUT effortless.

Her latest book is a great pick-me-upper for a cold, gray winter day. Faith Frankel, her 30-something protagonist, is…well, kind of at odds with life. Her fiancée Stuart, a loser if there ever was one, has taken off on a new-age walking journey. Her father has just reinvented him
...more
Myrna
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. There was just so much to like: mystery, humor and romance! Great cover and the ending was satisfying too. 4★stars!
JanB
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I loved this fun and witty rom-com book and it's probably more of a 4.25 stars .

The plot involves a light mystery, some romance, and a somewhat dysfunctional family. There are a few twists and turns to keep things interesting, but let’s be honest, an intricate plot was not what I was looking for. The characters are quirky and lovable (well, most of them anyway) and it’s written in a funny, humorous way with snappy dialogue that never crossed over into sappy eye-rolling scenes. There were a few t
...more
Tina
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, net-galley
What a fun little book! Loved Elinor Lipman's writing. Pure enjoyment with a dash of quirkiness!

The story is all about Faith Frankel who buys a house on Turpentine Lane with some unexplained history. Enter her well meaning but meddling family and her level-headed workmate/friend Nick. It's a great story told in a very different and amusing way.

Thank-you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader's Copy.

...more
☮Karen
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is being described as romance/chick lit, which is not my favorite genre, but in this case was a real delight to listen to. The mystery kept me interested, and the dialogue was smart and witty. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, from the young woman who bought 10 Turpentine Lane as her first house, to the whacky family from whom she bought it, to her two love interests, and everyone in between.

A very enjoyable book! I haven't read this author before but am taking suggestions
...more
Nancy
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book. It is a romantic comedy where the heroine, Faith, has everything go wrong in her life. Her fiance gives her a red string as an engagement ring and then goes off on a walk across America where he blogs about his experiences. Unfortunately, he seems to have too many female fans which makes his fiance wonder about many things but especially about his level of commitment.

Faith buys a fixer upper house without knowing the house's history. The price was right so she bought it and
...more
Carolyn F.
What a sweet, funny book! There were several times I would read a phrase and think, "I need to write that down and pretend I just made it up." I just loved this book. There's a murder mystery that's only a slight mystery. The love story was great. Even the fights with the ex's were written with humor and kindness. Fantastic book! I'd recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary romance written with humor. I'm planning on reading more by this author. ...more
Liz Willard
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I felt like the author tried really hard to be "quirky," and it shows. The result is quite silly. Occasionally entertaining, but very little of it felt realistic. ...more
Jaylia3
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, 2018, 2018-re-read
4.5 stars

I became so attached to the characters of On Turpentine Lane, and the sometimes wild ride we were all on, that I felt a real sense of loss when the book ended. It’s usually that way when I’m reading novels by Elinor Lipman, which combine playful wit with non-sappy but heart-warming story lines.

While her fiancé is off finding himself in a cross-country walk he’s hyping on social media, main character Faith Frankel works for her alma mater hand writing thank you notes to donors, but pers
...more
Suanne Laqueur
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2018
Delightful. Absolutely delightful and delicious. If you're looking for a smart, feel-good read, give Elinor Lipman a try. This was terrific and I also highly recommend The Inn at Lake Devine. ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the perfect book to curl up with on a stormy day. It's got an appealing heroine, an enviable hero, features a cozy bungalow with a tainted history. Romcoms aren't usually this beguiling to me, but this was the escape I needed, a low intensity joyride without shifting gears. Here's a modern family with foibles but no bitterness, and at times hilarious, the plot unfolds with a few surprises, but nothing jarring. ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
I am not a romance or chic lit reader normally. And this book did not change my mind. I had both the book and the audio. The narrator of the audio - Mia Barron - did a great job. She has a smooth voice and was easy to listen to. Her character definition was really good and you had no problem figuring out exactly who was speaking.
The story itself was only fair. It was about a woman buying her first home - a place where an earlier murder had occurred. She was involved with a real crud who only th
...more
Abbey
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
The premise, hook, and title of this book were great--probably the best parts about it, unfortunately. Even the set up was good, for all the talk of Stuart and the small-town claustrophobia, and some of the small-rolled characters were quite well defined (specifically, Brook and the school lawyer), but the book so quickly nose-dived the more Faith was developed. She's whiny, has almost no common sense, goes on field trips to harass senior citizens about the conclusions she has jumped to and poss ...more
William Koon
Feb 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Elinor Lipman’s On Turpentine Lane is the worst novel I have ever encountered in a life time of reading. Imagine a slightly slow Lena Dunham in an episode of “Murder She Wrote.” Imagine the nastiest episode of My Craziest Ex-Girl Friend in dense prose. Writing does not get any poorer than this. Run away. Run away now! One star because there is no 0 star.
Tessa
Meh. I thought that this was literary fiction but it turned into chick-lit with unlikable characters and a plot that was all over the place. The characters are obsessed with the history of the house but I couldn't understand why. The decisions the characters made were very questionable. To be fair, I did read the whole book but I have nothing else to say. ...more
Lisa
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining romantic comedy that made a 5 hour plane trip fly by. Predictable in a good way.
Eilonwy
3-1/2 stars, rounded up
Faith Frankel has just bought a house for which a suspiciously eager seller accepted well below the asking price. A house in the same town where she grew up and her parents and brother still reside, and where she is now working for the private school she attended as a day student. A house which she bought without any help from her penniless fiancé, who is walking across the US to find himself. Faith’s excursion into homeownership opens new and unpredictable doors, insightf
...more
Rebecca
I read the first 30 pages. Here you have a sixtysomething author trying to write from the perspective of a thirtysomething, and it really doesn’t work. Old-fashioned to the point of anachronism, Faith’s voice rings false: “his Instagrams,” “As for the arena I’ll delicately call ‘relations,’” “Miss u” in a text, “I wanted to ask whether the ‘under one roof’ meant as husband and wife.” I was so unconvinced by Lipman’s version of a 32-year-old that I couldn’t muster up interest in Faith’s purchase ...more
Mary Lins
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
Oh, what a lovely romantic and witty story! "On Turpentine Lane", by Elinor Lipman, is the perfect "escapist" novel for this time of the year! Curl up by the fire with a hot mug of something and enjoy this fast-paced, laugh-out-loud romp narrated by 30-something Faith Frankle! Faith has moved "home" to small-town Massachusetts and purchased an old bungalow with a mysterious and possibly murderous past. We follow Faith's romantic ups and downs as she navigates her work, home, and family life (her ...more
Carol
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Is there any one writing funnier than Elinor Lipman? Whenever I need a little boost she's my go-to writer. Quirky yet believable characters and outrageously funny situations, set in Massachusetts, people with the absolutely wrong partner, brewing romances... a neat little package of life wrapped with a ribbon. The perfect rom-com! Yet her writing has substance as well as humor and this novel even has a little mystery tucked in. Loved it. ...more
Heather
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a funny, lighthearted book with some quirky and fun characters. If you are looking for a fast, light read, this is a great choice!
Elinor
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Good, but not great. I always enjoy Elinor Lipman (and I love her first name as well) because she seems like the sassy girl next door that you would love to hang out with and exchange witticisms with. I had high hopes after the first chapter because the main character buys an old house on the oddly-named Turpentine Lane, and I am a sucker for reading about old houses and everything found therein. However, the house was barely mentioned again.
This novel was filled with the author's usual clever
...more
RoseMary Achey
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a fun, light novel-perfect for a girls weekend, beach read or an extended airline flight. An office romance, lightly dysfunctional parents, a mini mystery make up the book's 300 pages. ...more
Ann-Marie
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More lighthearted fun from Elinor Lipman. This one includes wrong fiances, crazy old ladies, fathers with midlife crises, a murder house and the boss from heck (not quite the boss from hell).
Tess
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this whip-smart novel by Elinor Lipman. It’s a great blend of comedy, mystery, and a really beautiful love story. The most surprising part was how laugh out loud funny Lipman is. She will often add in short, quipped sentences that are pitch perfect, and make it hard to put the book down.

The story follows Faith Frankel as she returns to her hometown from Brooklyn while her fiance attempts to walk across the country to “find himself.” In his absence, she purchases a house that co
...more
Bill
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Meet Faith Frankel, thank you letter writer for her alma mater country day school; somewhat engaged to a guy who had some sort of revelation after surgery that he should walk across the country with a ‘free hugs’ sign around his neck to ‘find himself’; and new buyer of a small cottage with a dark history.

Enter, Nick Franconi, office mate, Faith’s defender, and coconspirator with Faith messing with their clueless, idiot boss, and soon housemate as well.

Add a well meaning mom; a moved out dad to b
...more
Melinda Worfolk
I love Elinor Lipman and have read every work of fiction by her. Her characters, dialogue, quirky plots--I love them all. That said, this was not my favourite. It was just...oddly uneven.

What I liked:
-Faith's narrative voice
-The office romance
-The relationship between Faith and her brother

What I didn't like:
-The attempt to mix some darker, more serious elements (possible infant death, possible homicide) into what is essentially a rom-com
-The fact that Faith didn't seem to have any women friends
...more
Candice
Jul 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
.
Welp. That does it for Elinor Lipman, which is disappointing because after The Ladies Man, I thought we were best friends.

This book is littered with despicable people. I loathed every single one, even Nick (out of sheer spite that he was a one-dimensional cardboard foil to all the self-invoked try-to-be-wry berks).

And apparently there are approximately 10 people in the entire town, all of whom are conveniently integral to this book. So and so’s sister married to so and so’s ex boyfriend and is
...more
Kathryn in FL
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-reading
Though it has probably been 40 or more books ago, this book still brings a smile to my face.

I don't generally read romance books but I had enjoyed the clever humor that lurked within "The Inn on Lake Devine", I had to explore more of Ms. Lipman's talent.

This is the kind of book, you grab when you want to take a time-out escape to watch someone's struggle turn to victory. It is truly light-hearted entertainment and everyone you root for overcomes their challenge. If only it were real life.
...more
Anne
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
Loved it.
I've bought about five of her other books, and cannot wait to read them too. I'd love for the characters in THIS book to return someday in another book ( in this quirky house) as maybe detectives this time? I loved this book
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: On Turpentine Lane - 3.5 stars, by Elinor Lipman 1 13 Aug 14, 2017 04:52AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
  • Love Lettering
  • The Garden of Small Beginnings
  • The Mating Habits of Stags
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road
  • The Sound Mirror
  • Lost Souls
  • Devotion
  • Ease
  • Watch Me Disappear
  • The Naseby Horses
  • Other People's Houses
  • Laura Rider's Masterpiece
  • Tempting Sydney (Tempting, #1)
  • An Equal Opportunity Death (Vejay Haskell, #1)
  • All Adults Here
  • The Late Bloomers' Club
See similar books…
778 followers
Elinor Lipman is the author of 11 humorous novels about contemporary American society; essay and short story collections, and a book of rhyming political tweets.. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, she graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001. Her first novel, "Then She Found Me," was ada ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
26 likes · 16 comments
“for those who notice, his face wears his goodness quite handsomely.” 0 likes
More quotes…