Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee has mixed reviews here, and having just finished it over the course of the weekend, I think it makes sense; it's probably not a book that would -- or probably should -- appeal to everyone.Pippa Lee is the much-younger wife of publisher Herb Lee. When the book opens, Pippa and Herb have just moved to a retirement community. At 50 or so, Pippa is the youngest by far, but she's gone along with her 80-year-old, who is in the twilight of his life and has made the decision for both of them. Told in four parts, the book first shows Pippa's trouble adjusting to her new surroundings, then her life before the move, from her strange childhood in a terribly dysfunctional family to ending up as the third Mrs. Herb Lee, then finally, back to addressing the root of her issues since the move to the retirement community, and what comes next.Younger readers may be baffled at the abrupt shifts in time, and what seems at points to be meandering prose, but for readers of a certain age and older, the book is a stunner. The turns of phrase are descriptive without going overboard, and often, even a short sentence carries enough of a personality to paint an entire picture.While at times the language is shocking (one phrase in particular seemed to come out of nowhere and ended up in one of my status updates here on Goodreads as I read), those out-of-place sentences are actually bread crumbs left for the reader: little hints of character yet to come.The unfolding of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is much like those Jawbreakers you sucked on as a child: each subsequent layer gave way to a new color, and it was always a surprise.