Rummanah Aasi
  I have a very hard time in finding adult titles to read ever since I started reading Young Adult literature. I don't have the patience to invest in an adult book if the characters are boring and unapproachable. Or if the plot is boring and moves at a snail's pace. No wonder I can walk into the Young Adult section of my library and walk away with more than 5 titles to read whereas I can browse the Fiction section until I'm blue in the face and come out with only one book. In my last visit to my local library, I didn't want to waste time in the Fiction section aka black hole of time, so I asked one of the librarians for some book recommendations. I explained I was looking for a well written adult book that wasn't dismally depressing. One of the books she recommended was The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Catherine Schine. She described the book as Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility set in the 21st Century at the East Coast. The modern rendition should have been a warning sign to run from the book, but I didn't listen to my own instincts and gave the book a whirl.

Description: Sisters Miranda and Annie retreat to Westport, Connecticut, with their mother after their father files for divorce after forty-eight years of marriage due to 'irreconcilable differences'. The three women find life in a small, dilapidated beach cottage where confusion over reason and romance dominate their lives.

Review: I don't understand why writers want to recreate a classic, especially a poorly written one. Is it for self indulgence or because they can't come up with an original idea for their novel? Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility without its warmth, thought provoking questions, and interesting characters are dropped into Westport Connecticut. All of the main characters in the original novel are true to their personalities and unfortunately, appear pretty much one dimensionally in Three Weissmanns of Westport. Majority of the novel revolves around the difficult and emotionally exhausting divorce between Joseph and Betty, Annie and Miranda's mother and stepfather. Miranda's and Annie's plot lines are secondary to this story. I expected this novel to be relatively happy considering its source, but I found it to be very sad and depressing. While all three women seem to find what some might call "happiness", I didn't feel like their problems were really resolved. There's not much romance or comedy in the book though most reviews that I've read claim there to be. Perhaps there was both, but I failed to see it. I'd rather spend my time on watching Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. I hope to not read another retelling of a classic novel again. If I do, please stop me.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: Since this is an adult book, it contains adult situations. Strong language and sexual content is present. Since the characters are middle aged, teens may not be interested in reading this title.

If you like this book, try: The New Yorkers by Catherine Schine
1 Response
  1. It's too bad when it doesn't turn out well, but I do actually really like re-tellings if they are done well & originally. I've read a few that I've loved.

    This one, however, sounds just terrible. Too bad, but thanks for the warning :)

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