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The Three Weissmanns of Westport
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October 2017: Society > The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine - 3.5***

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5813 comments The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
The Three Weissmanns of Westport - Cathleen Schine
Book on CD narrated by Hillary Huber
3.5***

Betty Weissmann is seventy-five when her seventy-eight-year-old husband, Joseph, announces he wants a divorce. Of course, he’ll be generous; he has loved Betty and her two girls from a previous marriage for over forty years, and he wants to do right by them. But his mistress, Felicity, has other plans for the elegant West-side apartment, and Betty is evicted from her only home with little notice. Her cousin Lou comes to the rescue, offering her his beach-side cottage in Westport. So, Betty and her two middle-aged daughters, Annie and Miranda, move in together and try to make sense of this new life.

This is a charming re-telling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (my personal favorite Austen novel). I had great fun trying to match Schine’s characters with Austen’s, and trying to figure out how certain plot elements might play out. Despite my familiarity with the original, Schine surprised me more than once.

I was immediately caught up in Betty’s story, and these characters seemed very real and recognizable to me. Their situation was both funny and poignant. There were times when I laughed out loud, or groaned in sympathy. I loved Betty; she went from confused and frustrated, to steely-spined and self-sufficient. Annie was the typical oldest child, taking charge and trying her best to “fix” was what wrong, while ignoring her own emotional needs. She presents a strong, clam façade, but does her crying in private. Miranda … well … she’s the “Marianne” character here, and I wanted to throttle her several times. Still, she is a sympathetic character despite (or perhaps because of) her flaws.

Hillary Huber shines in her performance of the audio book. She has the timing and tone to perfectly deliver this comedy of manners, and, as a skilled voice artist, she is able to differentiate the large cast of characters.


LINK to my review


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5813 comments Note - "Society" isn't a tag I normally use, though I DO use "social commentary." In any case, one person did tag this book as "Society." I think it fits because, like Jane Austen, Schine is commenting on the way society treats women going through divorce, or women who are "single" in their middle-age.


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