The Three Weissmanns of Westport is a sparkling contemporary adaptation of Sense and Sensibility from the always-winning Cathleen Schine.
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 50 years and then exiled from their elegant New York apartment by his mistress, the sisters' mother, Betty, is forced to move to a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage owned by her wealthy and generous cousin Lou. Joining her are Miranda - escaping unexpected literary scandals - and Annie, who dutifully comes along to keep on eye on her capricious mother and sister. As the two 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.
©2010 Cathleen Schine; (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Jane Austen’s beloved Sense and Sensibility has moved to Westport, Connecticut, in this enchanting modern-day homage to the classic novel.
"Compulsively readable....A smart crowd pleaser with lovably flawed leads and the best tearjerker finale you're likely to read this year." (Publishers Weekly)
"Schine writes with the speed and punch of a seasoned comic, conveying her character in a single line of dialogue." (The New Yorker)
"Her eye for telling detail and the giveaway gesture is faultless, and her ear for dialogue is just as finely attuned." (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
This book received glowing reviews in the press and I continue to enjoy the narrative despite the narration. I hate to be negative about someone who has actually read a full length novel aloud, but, as a native New Yorker, now exiled in the South, I feel she just doesn't "get" the characters. Plus, her voice is incredibly grating (not in in interesting NY way) and almost everyone sounds the same. I keep listening because I want to know what happens, but I will be very glad to be rid of that voice.
A modern "Sense and Sensibility" -- if Jane Austen had been a secular Jew in Manhattan -- "The Three Weissmans of Westport" is a giddy, literate, well-plotted and -paced novel of manners. I enjoyed every bit. I was sorry it ended.
I really enjoyed this book -- I was completely engaged by the characters and their stories. Loved the Jane Austen echoes and the fact that Schine knew exactly when to follow Ms. Austen's plot patterns and when to let modern life add its own twists. I agree that there wasn't any sense of New York in the narration, but I got used to it. Definitely not rocket science, but more than a beach read -- we all know characters like these men and women and Schine is a perceptive observer of human nature.
I gave up listening after 60 minutes. The characters failed to evolve or deviate in any way from a very predictable story line. The narrator also spoke very slowly - bringing the already sluggish story to a near complete halt. I can't recommend this book.
This is the audio equivalent of an engaging beach read for -- sigh -- the post 45 set. Good for relaxation, but also somewhat gratingly cliched.
..the narrator hadn't been so boring, and researched how to pronounce certain words which she'd obviously never heard.
...the plot hadn't disintegrated to a luke-warm pot-boiler by hour 3.
...trusted "critics" hadn't led me to believe this was worth at least a light-summer-listen...
...then I might not be so disappointed!
I don't know how I actually managed to listen to the whole thing. The narration was almost unbearably irritating-- affected and snobby sounding. I didn't care much about the characters. Though it picked up a little toward the end, generally speaking I was quite disappointed (esp having read a few good reviews).
It is possible I made it into hour 2 of this book but not much further. It is so boring, so tedious I cannot finish. The narrator is beyond terrible. I would rather listen to a book that I've heard about 15 times than finish this one. Don't waste your time or your money.
This book is not worth your time. Pointless story that doesn't really go anywhere. Characters think about the stupidest things "is a bird really free if it has no home"... blah!!!
Also, what drove me crazy were the editorial blunders in descriptive passages. E.g. 'glossy' white walls (who has glossy walls?), using 'crisp' in reference to what was previously described as an unseasonably warm winter day, a look of 'confused malevolence' or 'confused menace' (I can't recall exactly) and finally 'volunteer' EMT workers (I've heard of volunteer firefighters, but never volunteer emergency personal!).
It all made me to wonder if the editor slept through their job with this book.
Save your credit for something worth your time, this book isn't it!
I just finished listening to this book. I actually had to bring my ipod in from the car to get the last 30 minutes or so because I was enjoying the story so much. I will heartily recommend this book to my friends, but can't truly recommend this audio experience: I agree with the last reviewer in that the narrator just doesn't seem to "get" these characters... I mean, for goodness sake, the Three Weissmanns are exiled New Yorkers! give us some NY! Five stars for the book, 2 stars for narration.
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