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Sense and Sensibility for today?
on 14 October 2010
Sisters Annie and Miranda, and their mother Betty live in New York. Betty is devastated to one day be told, seemingly out of nowhere, that her husband of 48 years, Joseph, is leaving her. Feeling bereaved, and basically forced out of the lovely city apartment they have shared, she takes up the offer from Cousin Lou to live in an old cottage he owns in Westport, and her two daughters accompany her. The eldest, book lover and more reserved Annie, is divorced and has recently befriended an author, Frederick, but is unsure if their relationship will progress. The younger daughter Miranda, a former misery memoir publisher now disgraced, meets both a younger and an older new acquanitance in Westport. Cousin Lou throws many parties and gatherings for his huge circle of friends, which the three Weissmans attend. If this sounds somehow familiar, that's because it is likened to the classic Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility, a similar situation and characters, transported to the USA and brought into the present day, but maintaining those eternal themes of ladies looking for, losing, and finding a companion to share their lives with.
This novel is a gentle, easy and enjoyable read, about families and relationships, disapointment, loneliness and hope, but most of all about romantic love both lost and found anew. It explores how love can grow and envelop us, and yet how it can end abruptly, and leave us feeling lost, sad and lonely, and how we as humans take comfort in families, or books, or escape, depending on our personalities. I would recommend this to friends looking for an easy, romantic read, not very demanding or complicated, but nicely written.