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The Three Weissmanns of Westport

June 06, 2012 04:41PM
I can't believe I'm actually talking about a JA-based book in the JAFF library! I think it's the first time for me ;-)

Anyway, on to the book.

I'm not sure if you'd heard of it before, but The Three Weissmanns of Westport, by Cathleen Schine, essentially is a modern-day re-telling of S&S. It tells the story of how Betty Weissmann is divorced by her husband of almost fifty years and because of some quarrel of who gets their New York apartment, temporarily moves into a bungalow in Westport owned by her cousin Lou. Through some major guilting, she gets her eldest daughter Annie, divorced librarian and mother of two, and Miranda, constant romantic in an existential crisis, to live with her and from there, the story starts.

I must say, I was sceptic about this, thinking it was just another Austenesque novel thrown into a booming market, but I soon learnt better.

This book is really awesome!

I found it worked the basic plot of S&S incredibly well, it was true in lightness and wit to the original without trying to cling to it too closely, the characters, for all that they were different from the originals (the most obvious point probably that Annie has just turned fifty and Miranda tries to be an eternal forty-nine) still felt like they could be them. My only tiny complaint would be that the Colonel Brandon character felt a bit bland and not fully realised and I think the author could have done a little more with him. But that's just a tiny, minor thing.

Altogether, it was a very enjoyable read, even if the ending was a bit bittersweet, and I can only recommend it! And I should think it also works if you've never read S&S, because it's a good enough novel to stand on its own, and only better if you know of the S&S allusions.

"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter." (Barack Obama, 03 June 2020)

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Mari A.June 06, 2012 04:41PM


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