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Laura Lippman on ‘Sunburn’

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Book Review

Laura Lippman on ‘Sunburn’

Lippman talks about her new novel, and Tina Jordan discusses new romance novels.


In The New York Times Book Review, Harriet Lane reviews Laura Lippman’s “Sunburn,” about a woman named Polly Costello who is on the run, not from one past but several. Lane writes:


Laura Lippman’s “Sunburn” may be set in 1995, before Google searches made it a whole lot harder to vanish and start afresh elsewhere, but it takes its inspiration (as Polly does, explicitly), from ’40s noir: “Double Indemnity,” “Mildred Pierce,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” Polly and Adam’s relationship observes the conventions. It’s ill advised, passionate and doomed. How could it be otherwise? The reader knows from the start that Polly has done something unforgivable: She has walked away from her husband and 3-year-old daughter at the beach, left a note in their holiday rental and hitched a ride into an unknown future, jumping out at Belleville when the driver tried to put a hand on her knee. We know her husband is a heel, we can forgive her for running away from him — but a child? Really? And if Adam is able to overlook this, how do we feel about that?

On this week’s podcast, Lippman talks about “Sunburn”; Tina Jordan discusses new romance novels; Alexandra Alter has news from the literary world; and Gregory Cowles, Lovia Gyarkye and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books mentioned in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

“Here in Berlin” by Cristina García

“The Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James

“Black No More” by George S. Schuyler

“The Informed Air” by Muriel Spark

“A Good Comb” by Muriel Spark

“Craeft” by Alexander Langlands

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