Twenty-something Ellen Kaplan has just returned home from a two-year trip around Europe to find someone has been sleeping in her bed, eating at her place at the dining-room table, and generally replacing her in the bosom of her family. That someone is April, a junk food-scarfing, nylon-wearing refugee from a decidedly less posh area of the country than Ellen's native Philmont, Pennsylvania.
Yet somehow this tacky and vulgar intruder has captured the heart of her beloved big brother, James, and without even a college degree, she has convinced him to forsake the philosophy Ph.D. program at Berkeley. She has also apparently changed her parents' very personalities, converting them from a baby-boomer suburban power couple into Ward and June Cleaver.
Ellen, however, has always had her way at home, and she vows to evict April before she becomes her new sister-in-law.
Spinning a dizzying tale of family bonding and unbonding, Corene Lematre follows Ellen's hilarious, sneaky plotting even as she faces some surprising possibilities about who her family really is. The worst possibility is that Ellen's archrival may in fact be her soul-sister.
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Educated at New York University, where she read drama and trained in Stella Adler's studio, Corene Lemaitre was editor for the source magazine and is now a full-time writer. She is based in London.From Publishers Weekly:
"Who's been sleeping in my bed?" takes on new meaning in Lema?tre's fractured fairy tale, a scathingly zany take on Goldilocks. When 20-something Ellen Kaplan returns home to suburban Philmont, Pa., after a two-year romp through Europe, she expects to find her family unchanged. Unfortunately for Ellen, her bed has been taken over by her brother James's new girlfriend, April, a junk-food-eating, born-again Christian from a blue-collar family in California. In addition to displaying April's collection of porcelain Jesuses, the formerly macrobiotic Kaplans now stock the pantry with Doritos and Tastykakes to please the intruder, and at her urging, James is about to abandon his philosophy Ph.D. at Berkeley in favor of a career as a trash collector. Although Ellen did not send a single postcard during her travels, she resolves to recover her rightful place in the family, wresting power away from April before it's too late. A domestic war is soon raging, but before long Ellen is forced to acknowledge that she and April have more in common than she would like to admit. Though she is, as her father says, "lazy, spoiled and megalomaniacal," Ellen is also a wittily acerbic narrator, and her descriptions of secondary characters like her technologically precocious younger brother, Matthew, who lives in the basement with his computer, are sharp and funny. Lema?tre spells out the Goldilocks connection early on, rather than trusting readers to put two and two together on their own, and some of the novel's satirical observations are shrill. Still, when a series of epiphanies causes Ellen to recognize that she has not been betrayed by her family, but rather has wronged them by taking them for granted, irony is subsumed by a story with a moral for spoiled children everywhere. (Jan.) FYI: Lema?tre hosts a Philadelphia TV talk show, Authors Etc.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000035661
Book Description 2000-05-15., 2000. Book Condition: New. HarperCollins. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 288pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1723022