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The Dearly Departed

By Elinor Lipman
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Book Details
  • Author: Elinor Lipman
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Published: 2001-06-12
  • Edition: 1st
Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a not-always-devoted daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of her unhappy adolescence, to the community that remembers her solely, nervously, as "the girl who golfed." Reentry is to be dreaded; there's no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel. Yet allies surface: The country club opens its doors to its former Orphan Annie caddie. High school classmates, even the tormentors, have grown up nicely, matured in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Just possibly, Sunny begins to think, she wasn't as beleaguered as she felt she was. Maybe her mother's life was richer than anyone suspected, and maybe Fletcher, the man at the funeral - the one with her face, her flyaway hair, her golf swing - is the half-brother she doesn't know she needs.
Dispatches from the graveside gossips only increase as Sunny's mourning dance takes center stage in otherwise-sleepy King George. Newly liberated from the congressional campaign of the hapless and anorexic Emily Ann Grandjean, Fletcher installs himself in his father's lakeside bachelor pad, within drop-in distance of his reluctant half-sister. Thankfully, he's also within the sights of chief of police and hometown hero Joey Loach, whose interest in Sunny has long since blurred the line between civic duty and his fondest hopes.