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The Three Weissmanns of Westport: A Novel by…
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The Three Weissmanns of Westport: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Cathleen Schine

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1,0748113,409 (3.3)59
Betty Weissman loses her elegant New York apartment when her husband of nearly fifty years divorces her for what he says are irreconcilable differences, but is in actuality another woman. She and her two grown daughters who quite unexpectedly find themselves the middle-aged products of a broken home and whose own lives are in varying states of disrepair and confusion regroup in a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. As they wrestle with economic hard times, love starts to blossom for both sisters, and they find themselves struggling with the dueling demands of reason and romance.… (more)
Member:AustenBlog
Title:The Three Weissmanns of Westport: A Novel
Authors:Cathleen Schine
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Paraliterature, Modern, Sense and Sensibility

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The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
At first I found the characters in this book to be vacuous, narcissistic, and not at all self-reflective. The laugh-out-loud funny bits kept me reading, and eventually I began to not exactly care about the characters but at least to find them less grating enough that I could enjoy the story. I listened to this on audio while perambulating (and occasionally cantering) about my neighborhood, and it was great for that.

It's been too long since I read Sense and Sensibility for me to speak on how similar (or not) this book is to that one, but Schine certainly captured Austen's way of lovingly poking fun at the members of the upper classes. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
I am not quite sure why this book has such a low overall rating, 2.86 stars. My guess is the Austenophiles get their hopes up for another Jane book and since no book will ever live up to their expectations they rate these books very low. All I can say to these people is, “Why do you bother? Just stop reading follow-ups, and modernized versions because they will NEVER live up to your standards.” I had gotten this book at the library for 25 cents, and it sat on my bookshelf for years because I kept seeing the low rating and thinking, “I’m not in the mood to read a bad book.” This summer I decided I needed a beach book and figured I would give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading a clever, witty and very much in the Spirit of Austen novel. Schine, like Austen takes aim at, and pokes fun at the current social manners of her day. You will recognize most of the characters in this modernized version of Sense and Sensibility with a couple of new ones thrown in, and there is a bit of a twist at the end. I found this a perfect literary beach read; light, but well written and lots of things that will make you smile and chuckle. What’s not to love about that?
( )
  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
This novel is a modern take on Sense and Sensibility. The Three Weissmanns are a 74-year-old mother and her 2 daughters who move from their home in Manhattan to a cottage in Westport, Connecticut after an announcement by the mother’s husband that he is leaving her. The plot twists and turns in a similar way to S &S, and the fun of the book is guessing how the author will modernize Austen’s characters and their dilemmas. ( )
  peggybr | Sep 16, 2019 |
When I see a Jane Austen reference on the book jacket, it tempts me. So, of course I went ahead and read this book. But I suppose the problem with comparing a book to Austen is that it gives you high expectations.

I could see these as similarities with Austen books:
Women happen to have a cousin with a place to stay, that welcomes them into his home
The cousin has dinner parties and a circle of interesting friends who are almost like family
The women meet a few possible love interests
People travel in and out of the area, connecting and reconnecting with the women
Some of the men make such bad choices in partners that you can pretty much tell they're going to pay for their bad decisions later

So, that's how it's similar, in my opinion.
But it doesn't have the loveable characters that Austen does, it's missing a humor to the story, and it felt so bleak for so much of the book.
Austen books make me feel like there will be a happy ending to the story, our characters will wind up happy.
I just felt worried for these characters that happiness seemed like an uphill battle for them all.

I'm not going to spoil the ending. I did figure out a good bit of the ending before I got there. But I just felt like too much of the book was sad. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
This is my first experience with Cathleen Schine, and it was a delightful one. The Three Weissmans of Westport takes us into the lives of three women - at probably the worse time of their lives - and allows us to journey with them through a short period of time. We sit back and watch as each struggles with personal relationships, job successes and failures, friendships, and family drama. You never know what to expect - as this book is full of little (and some big) surprises.
A good book that you will struggle to put down.
( )
  Master275 | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
The sparkling, crisp, clever, deft, hilarious and deeply affecting new novel by Cathleen Schine, her best yet.
 
So many Gentle Readers wrote to us and so many Janeite acquaintances said to us, “Did you hear about this new book, The Three Weissmanns of Westport?” that we became intrigued. We did not receive a review copy, but everyone kept telling us about it and seemed surprised we had not read it, so we could not help thinking it might be a good sort of book and one that perhaps we should read in our copious free time. A while back, we noticed it on the list of NY Times Bestsellers at Kobo for a very good price, and we had a generous coupon, so decided to give it a try.

The book is a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility. After 50 years of marriage, Joseph Weissmann tells his wife, Betty, that he wants a divorce, and that she has to vacate her beloved prewar Upper West Side apartment, which she has lovingly tended and improved since the 1950s, to make way for his new love, Felicity. Fanny Dashwood-like, Felicity has convinced Joseph that by kicking Betty out of her home, he is actually being generous, and Joseph very much wants to be generous.
 
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Dedication
To the indelible memory of

Bertha Ehrenwerth

The fruit does not fall far from the tree
First words
When Joseph Weissmann divorced his wife, he was seventy-eight years old and she was seventy-five.
Quotations
It must be a burden to be so critical and so considerate at the same time."
To love enough and be loved enough, to love and be loved in such quantities, such abundance that you could squander whole nights in simple companionship - that was a richness she could hardly fathom.
Sometimes her life struck her as a mistake, not in a big, violent way, but as a simple error, as if she had thought she was supposed to bear left at an intersection when she should have taken a sharp left, and had drifted slowly, gradually, into the wrong town, the wrong state, the wrong country...
It began to rain, hard. Perhaps she would catch pneumonia and die. That would be very Romantic.
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Betty Weissman loses her elegant New York apartment when her husband of nearly fifty years divorces her for what he says are irreconcilable differences, but is in actuality another woman. She and her two grown daughters who quite unexpectedly find themselves the middle-aged products of a broken home and whose own lives are in varying states of disrepair and confusion regroup in a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. As they wrestle with economic hard times, love starts to blossom for both sisters, and they find themselves struggling with the dueling demands of reason and romance.

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