Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Review: The Summer of Fall by Laura Lippman

Publisher: Scribd Originals
Pages: 62
Format: eARC

Goodreads:  “Lucky! I’M LUCKY, GODDAMMIT!” So Laura Lippman keeps telling herself throughout the course of a year when she seems everything but. Her marriage crumbles; a beloved friend dies suddenly; her sister’s health fails. Everything and everyone is falling apart. The calamities reach a symbolic climax in the summer of 2022, when she and her mother both suffer bad falls. (Her mom is ninety-one; Lippman herself is merely “exceptionally clumsy.”) Still, she insists, she is lucky.

And in many ways, she is. She has a great kid and a career she loves, and she’s healthy and more or less happy. Yet even a resilient optimist like her can’t deny that life’s catastrophes are indiscriminate and seem always to hit at once.

In this wry and honest memoir of a truly lousy time, she gives an intimate look at her private life — perhaps less hair-raising than her award-winning crime thrillers, but no less engaging. And it’s relatable. Even the most fortunate experience heartache, loss, and physical breakdown of some kind. Lippman’s account of her own hard knocks reminds us that, eventually, adversity comes for everyone.

But she has a more important message: While misfortune might not be a choice, how we respond to it is. Lippman chooses to be a happy warrior. When her friend Terry Teachout, the renowned theater critic for The Wall Street Journal, dies without warning in January 2022, she finds solace in the fact that he’d recently found joy in a new romance. When two friends make the spontaneous decision to marry during a writer’s workshop in Italy, she throws herself into the role of officiant, despite the flatlining of her own marriage. When she ruins her shoulder in a fall, she refuses to swap her fun shoes for something more sensible. She won’t let sorrow and pain get the best of her. Blessings abound, godammit, and there’s still so much to celebrate.

Kritters Thoughts:  I am a Laura Lippman fan, I have nowhere near read all of her books, but when I saw this book come across Netgalley I was excited to read some non fiction that Laura Lippman wrote and even more so wrote about her own life.  She was an avid writer but also journaled her own life and this little book came from her writing as she recounted a summer that was possibly one to not remember!  

With a separation/divorce, physical injury, family drama and more, after reading this book I wanted to go have a beverage with Laura Lippman and just gab about the ups and downs of life.  I loved that yes I read about a horrible summer, but also got a glimpse behind the curtain of the humanity of an author as they try to keep writing and working while life knocks them around.  

I would love to read more of these by other authors that I love and see both their personal life and professional life as they collide.  


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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