In humorous Elinor Lipman’s second novel, 30-year-old
Melinda LeBlanc returns to the hometown where she had been a popular
high school cheerleader to reboot her life. Single and undegreed, she
goes to work as a flower arranger in her cousin’s shop, which is
sandwiched between the stores of two former classmates: Dennis
Vaughan's fly-fisherman supply shop and Libby Getchel’s high-end
handmade clothing boutique. All three are alone (Dennis had a brief
marriage to a college professor who left him for a woman) when boring
classmates have settled down. Their business and personal lives make up
the crux of the novel, which is misnamed, since it’s more about how
both sexes act. Both business and romance hit bumps for Melinda before
the novel resolves in the ending one expects in a romantic comedy.
Outspoken and sassy, Melinda is not Elinor Lipman’s most lovable
Amidst the comedy, Lipman tackles a couple of serious topics in The Way Men Act: racial prejudice (Dennis is African American) and bias against people who haven’t gone to college. Harrow, Massachusetts, is a college town where Melinda calls out more than one person for doubting her smarts.
Home My reviews My friends' reviews