Wednesday, April 25, 2018


When the Inn at Lake Devine in Vermont unceremoniously advises the Marx family that they are unwelcome because they are Jewish, young Natalie Marx makes it her mission to get even.  First, she sends nasty missives to the woman who sent the anti-Semitic response to their vacation request.  Not to be denied, she then accompanies her friend Robin’s Gentile family to the Inn on their vacation.  It’s the 1960s, and civil rights are just beginning to gain a toehold.  When Robin decides to marry into the family of the Inn’s owners years later, Natalie attends the wedding and takes over temporarily as their chef, livening up the Inn’s lackluster menu.  After Natalie’s sister marries a Gentile, and Natalie herself falls for the younger son of the Inn’s family, we find that her family has hangups of their own about marriage outside their faith.  Natalie’s parents do everything in their power to thwart the budding relationship.  Despite the weighty theme of bigotry that pervades the conflicts in the story, this novel is still light and airy and just plain fun.  I found it to be a very welcome break from boring historical fiction and bulky family sagas.  Call it chick lit if you must, but it lacks the gut-wrenching, hand-wringing difficulties that so many chick lit authors feel bound to address.  The author obviously champions the sentiment that Natalie emphasizes in one of her letters to the Inn:  she still believes that people are basically good.

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