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Isabel's Bed
Isabel's Bed
Author: Elinor Lipman
When Harriet Mahoney first sees it, Isabel Krug's bed is covered with sheared sheep and littered with celebrity biographies. Unpublished, fortyish, and recently jilted, Harriet has fled Manhattan for Isabel's loudly elegant Cape Cod retreat, where she will ghostwrite The Isabel Krug Story, based on the sexy blond's scandalous tabloid past...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780671015640
ISBN-10: 0671015648
Publication Date: 5/1/1998
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 68 ratings
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Harriet Mahoney is an aspiring writer with a boyfriend of 12 years and is a member of a writing group where she feels like an outsider. Forty one and lacking self esteem Harriet's life is in a rut.

Harriet soon finds her boyfriend has met someone else and wants to get married ASAP, so Harriet needs to find a place to live and fast. Responding to an ad in New York review of books she takes a job as a ghost writer for Isabel Krug and moves to Cape Cod.

Isabel Krug is quite a character. She was in bed with her lover when his wife came in and shot him to death. Nan VanVleet is found not guilty by reason of insanity and goes to a psychiatric hospital instead of jail. Isabel moves on with her life and moves to a mansion in Cape Cod to escape her notoriety. She has now decided she wants to tell her side of the story and that is where Harriet comes in. Isabel seems to love drama and mystery and lives in her avant garde home with her handy man and a mysterious man named Costas.

As Harriet begins to gather the notes and tapes Isabel has furnished about the night of the tragedy the more she learns about Isabel and the closer friends they become. It is apparent that these two women need each other's friendship. Together they become better people with the help of each others insights.
Lipman is the master of witty conversation and writes truly believable characters that you really care about, flaws and all. Isabel could have been a caricature but comes across as a believable person and Harriet's growth and learning what her true passion is was very convincing. The twist in the story towards the end was inventive and realistic. This was a charming book that made me smile, and even though you know some of what will happen almost from the start it is still fun getting to the final page.
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A quick, quirky read. Wonderfully entertaining.
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 329 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
At forty-two, Harriet just got dumped by her bagel-baking boyfriend of twelve years and she's still a struggling novelist drudging away at a secretarial job. Then she answers an ad in the NYT for a ghost-writer---and is hired by Isobel, a beautiful and free-spirited woman with her own issues---among which is being involved in an adulterous love triangle that ends with one person dead and another committed to a mental institution. Moving out to Isabel's Cape Cod beach house, Harriet starts learning the truth about not only about how people see themselves as opposed to how they are, but her own truths and self-deceptions.

This wasn't a bad book, but about 2/3's the way thru, I was like let's get on with it. One of the blurbs on the book compare Lipman to Jane Austen---I think Miss Austen has the ability to move a story along at a much faster pace and create more charming, interesting characters. I felt like a lot of the characters in this book were boringly self-indulgent. But it wasn't too bad. This is my second Lipman novel I have read---I probably won't read another one.
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not Lipman's most compelling but still interesting people and fun read.
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great beach reading! Light, funny.
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reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 3 more book reviews
I found this book to really drag. It started out to be fun, but the story was not well woven and there was really no major plot or highlight. It was harmless and forgettable, I guess. I found the Isabel side of the story to be unrealistic and boring. The Harriet story was better, overall. I gave it a 3/5, for a C average.
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 70 more book reviews
What a great story -- you will easily fall in love with the characters, and the style in which it's written! Casual and honest, authentic and funny, this story should be turned into a film! I highly recommend this book for a great beach read!
reviewed Isabel's Bed on + 18 more book reviews
Interesting book based on the life of a wanna be writer. Through a chain of events, she ends up being a ghost writer for the mistress of a murdered man. Isabel is the mistress and the writer comes to understand what it means to "walk a mile in my shoes".