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Jane Austen in Scarsdale

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3.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,666 ratings  ·  310 reviews
Anne Ehrlich is a dedicated guidance counselor steering her high-school charges through the perils of college admission. Thirteen years ago, when she was graduating from Columbia University, her wealthy family---especially her dear grandmother Winnie---persuaded her to give up the love of her life, Ben Cutler, a penniless boy from Queens College. Anne has never married and ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published January 1st 2006)
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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,666 ratings  ·  310 reviews


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Cara and Ashley
Aug 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
When I first read the synopsis of Jane Austen in Scarsdale, I was expecting an exciting love story between Anne and Ben and was curious as to how the author would narrate how ‘old love be rekindled and past mistakes put right’.
Unfortunately, my expectation was not met. There was certainly a story to be told between Anne and Ben, but the author did not really indulge the reader with a clear storyline on how they fell in love again. The book contains chapters and chapters of Anne’s guidance counse
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Nicole
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
A delightful funny book with an astute social commentary on parental anxiety and privileged insularity. This is a variant of Persuasion but is not slavish. Ms Cohen takes a look at current social foibles in a narrow slice of affluent suburban America. The story setting is among high school seniors and their wildly ambitious parents during the college application process when the students are often persuaded by their parents goals rather than their own needs. This Anne is their guidance counselor ...more
Anna Johnson
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Witty and hilarious. A perfectly enjoyable summer read.
Amy
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Modeling itself after Austen's Persuasion, this is a nice novel and a somewhat sobering look at the crazy world of the college admissions process. Really, my kid is just three and I am seriously freaking fright now. Anyway, that seems to be the problem . . . too much of that and not enough about the main relationship of the book. And the book, via the blurb, presents itself as a love story first, so I feel somewhat compelled to correct the marketing team's misrepresentation. If it is a great lov ...more
Christine
Dec 31, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book istelf is a light-hearted bit of chick lit, so it's not necessarily as bad as the 1 star rating would suggest. I've given the 1 star rating because this book seems to be on the marketingbandwagon of all things Jane Austen--and honestly, I can't see any parallels between Austen and this book.

Cohen's book also took some time to get into, as the whole first 10 chapters or so are portraying the stressed, formerly riche heroine. It doesn't get one intrigued--it just makes you feel stressed,
...more
Tammy
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it.
Kathryn
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There’s something about Jane Austen’s novels that causes the addicted fan to cry out for more witticisms, more lovely command of the English language, more hilarious but believable characterizations and more entertaining plot points which always lead to a satisfyingly happy ending for the novel’s lovers, no matter how star-crossed they initially appear.

Aside from the literal screen adaptations of Austen’s works (including those produced by the BBC and A&E), the proof of her artistic timeless
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
I am a fan of Jane Austen and Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics) is one of my top favorites stories. This book is supposed to be a modern-day retelling of Persuasion, yet it really is loosely based on the book. A lot of the names are similar to help you make the parallels between "Persuasion" and this book such as Anne Elliot vs. Anne Ehlrich and a lot of what is established in this story is faithful to the plot in Persuasion. I enjoyed reading this book, I found the main character likeabl ...more
Jessi
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: janeites-unite
Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs, by Paula Marantz Cohen, is one of the best Jane Austen-paralit novels I've found. I picked it up in a used bookstore for a few bucks based on the name alone, and now I really want to read Ms. Cohen's other books. Jane Austen in Scarsdale is an updated Persuasion, but knowledge of the original is not necessarily needed to enjoy it. Anne Erlich is a guidance counselor at a prep school full of students with college-obsessed parents. Her wealth ...more
Erin
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don't think I'm alone when I say that I expected more Austen, less contemporary. As a reinterpretation of Persuasion it does alright, if you skip the bits about Anne working as a guidance counselor. The story seemed to be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis; was it a story of a modern career woman finding love, or the story of Austen's Anne re-set in the modern world? At times, I found myself wondering if it was even a romance at all.

It's not a bad book by any means. It doesn't suffer f
...more
Jenny
Jul 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women
This is a fun book--not very taxing mentally, but it was a fun and quick read based loosely on Jane Austen (Persuasion, I think).

A guidance counselor at a moneyed school meets a man she once loved but threw over because of money and family. Their situations are reversed now, he is engaged, her job is demanding, and her family causes conflict. Romantic and financial mayhem ensues. The ending is predictable, but fun.

I loved the humor, the mild satire of helicopter parents, and the setting. The p
...more
Andrea
Aug 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-chick-lit
Cute. Fun. A fascinating look at life as a high school guidance counselor. The plot - rich girl (Anne) meets great guy (Ben) but dumps him because he's not appropriate according to her family. He ends up doing well for himself while her former well to do family is in bankruptcy and forced to sell the family house. And of course she never stopped loving him. Ben comes back into the picture, swoops in to save the day, but has a fiance in the picture. It kills Anne to watch him with another woman, ...more
Mariana
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Being a huge Austen fan, I have read quite a few versions of her works set in modern day. I have to say, this is the best one yet. Rather than trying to force the reader to associate the original and the new version at every possible detail, the author wisely decided to simply use the themes that Austen wrote into Persuasion and apply them in a modern setting. It is more its own book, a companion and a real update of the original, than a simple copy and paste with contrived coincidences as some ...more
Cora
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: retold-classic
What I like best about this book is how true to the spirit of Anne Elliot it stays. Anne Erlich has the same steady, quiet, strong character as the original, never whining about her regrets however much she may feel them. The high school setting, with Anne as the guidance counselor everyone relies on while they underestimate her, is apt, and the Captain-Wentworth-as-travel-writer Ben Cutler is a pretty good updating of the original. Very enjoyable.
Rachel Rogers
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Generally based on Austen's Persuasion, a book I had, to that date, not read. This book is a wonderful, pleasant read, with mostly likeable characters. Yes, it's about beautiful people with fairly decent lives and thus is a bit escapist - but the people are real and the situations too.

Prompted me to read Persuasion and compare the two. An intelligent retelling of Austen, brings it up to date without undermining the purity of her original work.
Allison
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-10
Perfect book to bring with me on my cruise this summer! Also, as an aspiring high school counselor, this book really gave practical examples of what can happen day-to-day in a guidance office in Westchester (I'm a resident of the county and the author is totally on-point!) and how to deal with it as the person in the middle of teachers, principals, parents, and students. A+!
Sarah Nelson
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun summer weekend read. Sensible guidance counselor, Anne Ehrlich, gets a second chance at love. Loosely follows the storyline of Jane Austen's Persuasion.
Carolyn
A retelling of Persuasion, with Anne as a guidance counselor at a prep school. That choice of occupation for Anne makes sense, because she is trying to help kids find their own voices, and figure out what they want away from overbearing if loving parents. Get it? And, as with any Jane Austen retelling, it's mildly fun to try to Guess Who This Character Is Supposed to Be.

But ack, there is a LOT of (too much) time spent name-dropping various colleges and discussing how to game the system to get k
...more
Anna
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm a sucker for Jane Austen retellings. And Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen story. So I was pretty excited to pick up this book. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations at all.
To begin with, the focus was on Anne's guidance counseling. We don't even meet Ben until chapter 14 and he's only seen a few times before they get together. Some of the stories of Anne's students were fun and interesting, but the chapters and chapters of her dealing with parents and students were dull a
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Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
So, this is a Persuasion retelling. I love Persuasion by Jane Austen and I enjoyed this book for what it was--a lighter fluff read. I really enjoyed a lot of the characters (Anne, the grandmother, Ben and his family) and they really made the book for me. I especially enjoyed Anne's character; I felt she was a strong protagonist in all the right ways without being pushy and I admired her for her work and the way she treated others. I also felt that her character stayed true to Jane Austen's Anne. ...more
Staciel
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it

2.5-3.0 stars

I purchased this one after reading an article somewhere about an author's favorite Austen adaptations..she'd listed seven of them, and this is the only one that I had not looked into.

So, in I went as 'Persuasion' is my favorite Austen novel, and I'm in a 'Persuasion' state of mind after spending my wedding anniversary with my husband at a stage production (which was just so good!)

Anyway-- back to this book.. definite nods to Austen were there, and I did enjoy them and the Captain We
...more
Jenn
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eh. I've only read Persuasion once. I intend to re-read the rest of Austen's books, but there's so much I want to read for the first time, that I have a hard time making myself do it. So, I'm sure I only vaguely remember the details. Probably had this not been marketed as a retelling of Persuasion, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

This was...okay. It was readable and quick. It was kind of fun. But it lacked a LOT of depth. There was little to no actual romance. There were also a LOT of characte
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Melissa N.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It makes me mad that I actually enjoyed this book because it was required reading but I DID and it’s CONFUSING.
I loved reading from the perspective of Anne because it’s like college mania from the other side. I’m very familiar with being so worked up over college, but of course there’s the other people who have to DEAL with the people who are that worked up. And I really liked reading about that.
I loved Anne and her family and how complex they were together. Their history and where they are no
...more
Charlene
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This story brought back memories of applying to college - the essays/personal statements, GPAs, SATS and community service. It is amazing to see the lengths at which many parents go through to get their kids into the "best" schools - hiring a professional essayist, sending the child to rigorous test prep courses and more.

Jane Austen in Scarsdale was an interesting read that was more than just a story about the college application process, it was about learning to follow your heart - triumphs.
...more
Mary
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Who cares if other readers didn't like this book? It's a delightful little retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion for the 21th century. It's funny and light, and it's centered around a high school guidance counselor, so the drama of the college admissions process was especially entertaining to me as a mom of teenagers. After along 800-page book and then a heavy historical novel I just read, this was a welcome little quick read.
Nicole
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the actual love story, but way too much detail and time spent on the college admission process, what schools the kids wanted to go to, andvthe craxy parents pressuring their kids. I don’t need to know the consultants whole get into college prep course ( that took almost a whole chapter). Also, to be honest, it was weird reading this right now while the real life college admissions scandal is in the news everyday.
Gretchen
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a cute retelling of Persuasion. Jane Austen in Scarsdale or Love, Death and the SATS by Paula Marantz Cohen. Maybe some of you have read it? It is set in the modern world, the world of high school. The main character is head of the guidance counseling department in an upper class high school where college is the goal for going to high school. Ms. Cohen follows the format of Persuasion perfectly. You laugh and gasp and just have fun with this book.
Heather
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Parts of this book were absolutely hilarious to me. The guidance counselor/student/parent relationships were quite humorous and I liked that setting for the book. The Persuasion elements in it were nice, but of course it was nowhere near as swoonworthy as the original or as enjoyable as A Thousand Letters. I still really liked all of the characters and the book was a fun one overall! 3.5/5 stars :)
Amy
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you have ever navigated college applications to prestigious schools with your teen, this book will have you laughing out loud. Guidance counselor Anne Ehrlich is helping competitive high school students find their college match. Then her old flame, Ben, shows up in town again, and she regrets breaking up with him years ago. This is a fun, modern version of Jane Austen's Persuasion.
P Bright
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a delightful light read with some hilarious laugh out loud moments.
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Paula Marantz Cohen, Distinguished Professor of English, received her BA in English and French from Yale University and her Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. She is the author of seven books and numerous essays on literature, film, and culture.

Her most recent academic book, Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth (Oxford UP), was selected as a Choice Outstanding Book for 2003. H
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“Much better he should read for the first half of his life and then live for the next half. That's the proper sequence to know what you're doing. Nowadays, they start off by living and never get around to reading – it explains the mess we're all in.” 0 likes
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