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2 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

by

The Three Weissmanns of Westport Cover

ISBN13: 9780374299040
ISBN10: 0374299048
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Excerpt

     When Joseph Weissmann divorced his wife, he was seventy-eight years old and she was seventy-five. He announced his decision in the kitchen of their apartment on the tenth floor of a large, graceful Central Park West building built at the turn of the last century, the original white tiles of the kitchen still gleaming on the walls around them. Joseph, known as Joe to his colleagues at work but always called Joseph by his wife, said the words “irreconcilable differences,” and saw real confusion in his wifes eyes.

     Irreconcilable differences? she said. Of course there are irreconcilable differences. What on earth does that have to do with divorce?

     In Joes case it had very little to do with divorce. In Joes case, as is so often the case, the reason for the divorce was a woman. But a woman was not, unsurprisingly, the reason he gave his wife.

     Irreconcilable differences?

     Betty was surprised. They had been married for forty-eight years. She was used to Joseph, and she was sure Joseph was used to her. But he would not be dissuaded. Their history was history to him.

     Joseph had once been a handsome man. Even now, he was straight, unstooped; his bald head was somehow distinguished rather than lacking, as if men, important men, aspired to a smooth shining pate. His nose was narrow and protruded importantly. His eyes were also narrow and, as he aged, increasingly protected by folds of skin, as if they were secrets.Women liked him. Betty had certainly

liked him, once. He was quiet and unobtrusive, requiring only a large breakfast before he went to work, a large glass of Scotch when he arrived home, and a small, light dinner at 7:30 sharp.

     Over the years, Betty began to forget that she liked Joseph. The large breakfast seemed grotesque, the drink obsessive, the light supper an affectation. This happened in their third decade together and

lasted until their fourth. Then, Betty noticed, Josephs routines somehow began to take on a comforting rhythm, like the heartbeat of a mother to a newborn baby. Betty was once again content, in love, even. They traveled to Tuscany and stood in the Chianti hills watching the swallows and the swift clouds of slate-gray rain approaching. They took a boat through the fjords of Norway and another through

the Galápagos Islands. They took a train through India from one palace to the next, imagining the vanished Raj and eating fragrant delicate curries. They did all these things together. And then, all

these things stopped.

     “Irreconcilable differences,” Joe said.

     “Oh, Joseph. What does that have to do with divorce?”

     “I want to be generous,” Joe said.

     Generous? she thought. It was as if she were the maid and she was being fired. Would he offer her two months salary?

     “You cannot be generous with what is mine,” she said.

     And the divorce, like horses in a muddy race, their sides frothing, was off and running.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Cathy from Olympia, Washington, June 9, 2010 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
A modern twist on Sense and Sensibility complete with infidelity, divorce, soap operas and sex. Austen's main characters all make appearances-- including several greedy, grasping, conniving women out to win wealthy husbands and leaving heartbreak in their wake. Oh, and guess which Sense and Sensibility character library director Annie is?! ;-) Over all, very good, though not, perhaps a book for Austen purists.
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Bookwomyn, February 18, 2010 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
I love this book! Divorce amongst the elderly ... family issues, problem adult 'children' - wicked 'other woman' ... what's not to love? As reviewers have mentioned it is akin to Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" - but in the 21st century. It's a great book! It's a follow up to "The New Yorkers" which was very good also.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374299040
Author:
Schine, Cathleen
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
Lipman, Elinor
Author:
Morton, Brian
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20100231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Three Weissmanns of Westport Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374299040 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A geriatric stepfather falls in love with a scheming woman half his age in Schine's Sense and Sensibility — flecked and compulsively readable follow-up to The New Yorkers. Betty Weissman is 75 when Joseph, her husband of nearly 50 years, announces he's divorcing her. Soon, Betty moves out of their grand Central Park West apartment and Joseph's conniving girlfriend, Felicity, moves in. Betty lands in a rundown Westport, Conn., beach cottage, but things quickly get more complicated when Betty's daughters run into their own problems. Literary agent Miranda is sued into bankruptcy after it's revealed that some of her authors made up their lurid memoirs, and Annie, drowning in debt, can no longer afford her apartment. Once they relocate to Westport, both girls fall in love — Annie rather awkwardly with the brother of her stepfather's paramour, and Miranda with a younger actor who has a young son. An Austen-esque mischief hovers over these romantic relationships as the three women figure out how to survive and thrive. It's a smart crowd pleaser with lovably flawed leads and the best tearjerker finale you're likely to read this year." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Two sisters recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff as unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment in the latest from Elinor Lipman, "the last urbane romantic" (Julia Glass).
"Synopsis" by , A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family's various catastrophes.
"Synopsis" by , A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her familys various catastrophes Meet Florence Gordon: blunt, brilliant, cantankerous and passionate, feminist icon to young women, invisible to almost everyone else. At seventy-five, Florence has earned her right to set down the burdens of family and work and shape her legacy at long last. But just as she is beginning to write her long-deferred memoir, her son Daniel returns to New York from Seattle with his wife and daughter, and they embroil Florence in their dramas, clouding the clarity of her days and threatening her well-defended solitude. And then there is her left foot, which is starting to drag….

With searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity in all its flaws, Brian Morton introduces a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them, Florence, who can humble the fools surrounding her with one barbed line, but who eventually finds there are realities even she cannot outwit.

"Synopsis" by ,
Two sisters recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff as unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment

Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margots luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, its a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.

As the three swap money-making schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margots paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, this is a cracklingly witty, deeply sweet novel from one of our finest comic writers.

“Her worldview? Her enthusiasm, her effortless wit? Just a few of the reasons we love Elinor Lipman.”-Boston Globe

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