From Publishers Weekly
Cohen tackled a Jane Austen plot once before, in Jane Austen in Boca (2003). In this novel, she pays witty homage to Persuasion-with a twist that wrings modern meaning out of the word-as she explores the lengths to which a high school guidance counselor goes to get her privileged students into college. Head of guidance at Fenimore High, Anne Ehrlich is knee-deep in worried students, demanding parents and the politics of college admissions when her old flame Ben Cutler returns to Scarsdale and enrolls his nephew in Fenimore. Anne's beloved granny-the only trustworthy relative in her family of self-centered social climbers-talked Anne into dumping Ben 13 years before, when he was a travel agency peon. Since then, he's become a successful travel writer and hooked a beautiful, worldly fiancée. Pulled back into Ben's orbit by his college-bound nephew, Anne can't hide from her long-suppressed feelings anymore-but she'll try her best by getting involved with grieving poet Peter Jacobson. Endearing and fun, this narrative will ring true for anyone who's had a peek into the madness of college admissions, as well as anyone who's been unlucky in love.
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Following her send-up of Pride and Prejudice,
Jane Austen in Boca
(2002), Cohen tackles Austen's final novel, Persuasion,
about first love getting a second chance. At age 21, Anne Ehr-lich was persuaded by her family to break up with her poverty-stricken boyfriend, Ben Cutler. Thirteen years later, Anne is working as a guidance counselor at a competitive high school when Ben, now the well-known founder of a travel guide series, walks back into her life. His nephew, Jonathan, is transferring to the school Anne works at, and Ben is determined to get him into Columbia, the university Anne herself attended. Anne finds her feelings about Ben haven't changed one bit, but Ben is engaged to another and doesn't seem inclined to forgive Anne for caving in to her family's wishes all those years ago. Cohen's novel is part witty satire on the college application process and part love story, guaranteeing Austenites and lovers of romantic comedy in general will cotton to this charming modernization of one of Austen's best novels. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved