The Three Weissmanns of Westport

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Book - 2010
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Jane Austen's beloved Sense and Sensibility has moved to Westport, Connecticut, in this enchanting modern-day homage to the classic novel

When Joseph Weissmann divorced his wife, he was seventy eight years old and she was seventy-five . . . He said the words "Irreconcilable differences," and saw real confusion in his wife's eyes.

"Irreconcilable differences?" she said. "Of course there are irreconcilable differences. What on earth does that have to do with divorce?"

Thus begins The Three Weissmanns of Westport , a sparkling contemporary adaptation of Sense and Sensibility from the always winning Cathleen Schine, who has already been crowned "a modern-day Jewish Jane Austen" by People 's Leah Rozen.

In Schine's story, sisters Miranda, an impulsive but successful literary agent, and Annie, a pragmatic library director, quite unexpectedly find themselves the middle-aged products of a broken home. Dumped by her husband of nearly fifty years and then exiled from their elegant New York apartment by his mistress, Betty is forced to move to a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. Joining her are Miranda and Annie, who dutifully comes along to keep an eye on her capricious motherand sister. As the sisters mingle with the suburban aristocracy, love starts to blossom for both of them, and they find themselves struggling with the dueling demands of reason and romance.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374299040
Characteristics: 292 p. ; 24 cm.


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HCL_staff_reviews Oct 15, 2018

After nearly fifty years of marriage Betty Weissmann loses her Manhattan apartment when her husband files for divorce. Betty's two grown daughters, Annie and Miranda,find themselves in financial and romantic tumult as well. They are saved by dear cousin, Lou, who loans the three a cottage in Westport. With Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" as her template, Cathleen Schine has created an engaging novel of manners set in contemporary times. — Maureen M.S., Edina Library

patienceandfortitude Sep 09, 2013

An enjoyable and easy read.

mrsgail5756 Jun 19, 2013

A very good book. I would recommend this book for all to read.

Jun 04, 2013

After reading this I placed holds on many more books by Cathleen Schine. Great read. Intelligent, moving and hard to put down.

crankylibrarian May 29, 2012

Okay, I know I'm obsessive, but I can NOT stay away from the Jane Austen rip-offs. This one was surprisingly good however, Sense and Sensibility set in contemporary New York (Manhattan and upstate) with two 50-ish sisters and their aging mother. Instead of a half-brother, the self-absorbed male relative is Betty's ex husband Josie, who abandons his wife and two step-daughters for the office climber. Schine's re-working of the famous scene in which the snake-in-the grass new wife talks her husband out of doing right by his family is brilliantly rendered:

" 'It's really a burden, that big old place,' Felicity said. 'Poor Betty. I don't envy her. At her age...' Obviously the apartment would be too much for Betty to handle, It would bankrupt Betty with taxes. It would be cruel. And so it was decided. Joe would be generous and keep the apartment."

Although this has much of Austen's sprightly delight in human folly, and colorfully ridiculous side characters, Schine dwells more in the autumnal register; rather than girlish heroines experiencing first time love, her protagonists are mature women finding love at long last.

CSMcMahon Mar 26, 2011

This book was a huge disappointment. I bought the book as a result of seeing a glowing review in the New York Times. Other reviews I read suggested this was going to be a funny book about a mother and her daughters exiled in Westport. Either Schine forgot to bring the funny or these reviewers have a wildly different definition of what is funny compared to me.

Feb 14, 2011

Divorcing, after 50 years of marriage, is unbelievable.After reading this story, I haven't changed my mind.

Jan 31, 2011

A mother and her two fiftyish daughters in current-day New York find themselves forced into some uncomfortable life changes, just like the characters in Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility' faced in the eighteenth century.

Well, similar, but not quite the same. This is pure chick lit for woman of a certain age. Don't take it too seriously; just enjoy it for the ride! You can move on to something better soon enough!

netsirk22 Jan 21, 2011

It was lots of fun trying to work out all the parallels to Sense & Sensibility. Definitely a few surprises thrown in there though! Strong and well-defined characters that were recognizable as Austen's but unique enough to stand on their own. A pretty quick read, too. An interesting spin on a classic tale. I enjoyed it.

Aug 08, 2010

Much better book than the cover would lead you to believe. Good summer read.


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