At age fifty, Pippa Lee seems perfectly content. The devoted wife of a successful publisher and proud mother of grown twins, a consummate hostess to the literati and an admired and trusted neighbor, her life seems to lack for nothing. But when she and her eighty-year-old husband move to a quiet retirement village, the routines and distractions that have upheld Pippa’s flawless feminine persona begin to crumble away. And under the surface, her surprisingly gritty and adventurous past is beginning to break through.
When Pippa finds herself acting out strange yearnings in her sleep, she gradually allows the voice of her lost self to come through into her consciousness, recounting a wild and reckless youth full of experimentation and heartbreak, passion and guilt. We learn how she ran away from home to escape the manic-depression of her pill-popping mother, only to fall into drugs herself among the loose New York art crowd. Leaving a trail of broken hearts and messy affairs behind her, it is only when she meets the older Herb that she discovers her longing for security and resolves to steal him from his wife in order to settle down and create a family of her own.
Written with quirky humor, intelligence and compassion, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a wise and acute portrait of the many lives behind a single name.
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