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 Unpublished, fortyish, and recently jilted, Harriet has fled Manhattan for Isabel's loudly elegant Cape Cod retreat, where she will ghostwrite The Isabel Krug Story, based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. Unusually "talented" in the man department ("I give lessons"), Isabel revamps and inspires Harriet as they gear up to tell all, including the tangled history Isabel shares with her odd lodger, Costas. Life according to Isabel is a nonstop soap opera extravaganza, an experience to be swallowed whole - and the attitude is catching . . .
Isabel's Bed gives us the intricate and deft plot, crisp dialogue and unexpected twists and turns we have come to expect in the comic novels of Elinor Lipman. Here we meet Harriet Mahoney, a would-be writer recently jilted by her bagel-vending boyfriend. Harriet is at loose ends until she agrees to ghostwrite a chesty blonde's version of her tabloid past. Isabel Krug is the woman with the past; Harriet sees in her story the literary future that has eluded her. In the course of this...