Friday, July 5, 2013

I Can't Complain by Elinor Lipman

Author Elinor Lipman indeed seems to have little to complain about. She draws on her life experiences for this collection of essays and has barely a cross word to say about anyone in her personal or professional life. A baby boomer, she was raised in 1950’s Lowell, Massachusetts, by a happy homemaker mother (who lied about her age) and a doting father who was able to make each daughter feel she was his favorite. She grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood that fully embraced the only Jewish family on the block. All her friends, relatives, in-laws, in-laws’ friends, friends’ in-laws and co-workers (and their friends, relatives and in-laws) are friendly, successful, interesting and funny. She and her husband and son may have some faults, but those faults are charming and merely add a little spice to their lives. These experiences lead her to some common-sense opinions on how to choose a mate, how to maintain a relationship, how to share cooking chores and a bed and taste in fashion, and how to survive the inevitable death of loved ones. In short, I CAN’T COMPLAIN paints a picture of an American life we’d all like to live.