Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
A mother and two daughters down on their luck leave Manhattan for the beach
At first I was a little put off – was this “chick lit”? The antics of the characters seemed unforgivably slight but then I noticed the writing was smooth and concise. Lively. The book was widely promoted as an updated Sense and Sensibility, although I don’t think Jane Austen would have so much “telling.” The story is about Betty Weissmann, the wisecracking matron of the Weissmann family, whose husband, at the age of 78, decides he wants a divorce. Not quite knowing what to do, she takes refuge in the empty beach cottage of a generous relative. Her two daughters, Miranda and Annie, one desperate and broke at the implosion of her brilliant career, the other stuck in the mud, move in with her, live as a family again, and have comic misadventures and misunderstandings about romance.
The supporting characters are all vividly drawn. Eccentric and funny.
The more I read, the more I enjoyed reading it, although there were some very sudden plot movements and coincidental meetings to wrap everything up. I want to read more.