From Publishers Weekly
A geriatric stepfather falls in love with a scheming woman half his age in Schine's Sense and Sensibility
–flecked and compulsively readable follow-up to The New Yorkers
. Betty Weissman is 75 when Joseph, her husband of nearly 50 years, announces he's divorcing her. Soon, Betty moves out of their grand Central Park West apartment and Joseph's conniving girlfriend, Felicity, moves in. Betty lands in a rundown Westport, Conn., beach cottage, but things quickly get more complicated when Betty's daughters run into their own problems. Literary agent Miranda is sued into bankruptcy after it's revealed that some of her authors made up their lurid memoirs, and Annie, drowning in debt, can no longer afford her apartment. Once they relocate to Westport, both girls fall in love—Annie rather awkwardly with the brother of her stepfather's paramour, and Miranda with a younger actor who has a young son. An Austen-esque mischief hovers over these romantic relationships as the three women figure out how to survive and thrive. It's a smart crowd pleaser with lovably flawed leads and the best tearjerker finale you're likely to read this year. (Feb.)
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The seemingly endless parade of Jane Austen adaptations (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, anyone?) may tempt weary readers to give this book a pass. And, really, who can blame them? Perhaps an exception should be made, however, for The Three Weissmanns of Westport, which most critics hailed as a clever and warmhearted tale about love, life, and the true meaning of family. Schine's story captures the essence of Austen's classics, with pages filled with vibrant characters and insightful social commentary. Only the Wall Street Journal thought the novel too derivative. Both funny and sad, The Three Weissmans is the literary version of a delectable desert.