Customer Reviews for

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Average Rating 3
( 155 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(27)

1 Star

(36)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Really enjoyable reading day

This was the first of Cathleen Schine's books that I've read but I enjoyed it enough that I've purchased a few others of hers. The book takes place in CT and NY, both very familiar places to me. The character types are also familiar but because of that, I enjoyed it eve...
This was the first of Cathleen Schine's books that I've read but I enjoyed it enough that I've purchased a few others of hers. The book takes place in CT and NY, both very familiar places to me. The character types are also familiar but because of that, I enjoyed it even more. Sharply drawn characters and detailed depiction of different types of women who all depend on each other.

Loved her unique writing style. It struck me as a bit old-fashioned but because the book discussed very current themes, it made the whole experience even more enjoyable.

posted by BobbiNJ on July 26, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

once was enough

I like Schine's writing and wanted to read this so much that I mistakenly bought it twice! Once turned out to be enough -- I never found the characters to be convincing enough for me to really care about them or believe that they were connected in any way beyond the plo...
I like Schine's writing and wanted to read this so much that I mistakenly bought it twice! Once turned out to be enough -- I never found the characters to be convincing enough for me to really care about them or believe that they were connected in any way beyond the plot contrivances. It absorbed me more at the beginning and at the ending, but the middle was a long lull at the beach.

posted by Art-historian on March 27, 2010

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    once was enough

    I like Schine's writing and wanted to read this so much that I mistakenly bought it twice! Once turned out to be enough -- I never found the characters to be convincing enough for me to really care about them or believe that they were connected in any way beyond the plot contrivances. It absorbed me more at the beginning and at the ending, but the middle was a long lull at the beach.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Really enjoyable reading day

    This was the first of Cathleen Schine's books that I've read but I enjoyed it enough that I've purchased a few others of hers. The book takes place in CT and NY, both very familiar places to me. The character types are also familiar but because of that, I enjoyed it even more. Sharply drawn characters and detailed depiction of different types of women who all depend on each other.

    Loved her unique writing style. It struck me as a bit old-fashioned but because the book discussed very current themes, it made the whole experience even more enjoyable.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Three Women go to the beach because they are having Men Trouble

    This book was made out to be much better than it actually was. It was not very real and I was tired about hearing about all of the rejection from men. Life is more about life than men and who cares if they reject you. There is so much more about life than evolving yourself around men. I wished I would not have wasted my time!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2010

    The Weissmanns are Wonderful

    A thoroughly enjoybale read that pulled me into the lives and travails of the characters instantly. Those quirky, charming, colorful and memorable characters. You care about them becasue they are so human and offbeat. I found that it was too short a story and would have loved to be with them a little longer. Perhaps the saga of the Weissmann women could go on and all the intersecting characters and subplots could as well. With flashbacks, of course. i have already recommended it to friends. And because I enjoyed it so much, I have become interested in reading more of author Cathleen Schine's work with which I was not familiar. I became interested enough to order this book after reading a review in the Sunday New York Times Book Review.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2010

    My apologies to the writer.

    I simply could not get into this book and only read about half of it. The plot idea was so intriguing, and I was really excited about reading it. I even went to the store to pick it up right away because I couldn't wait for shipping. Very disappointed with the characters. They were so silly and self-centered. Perhaps someday I will pick it up again, but cannot think of a good reason why when there are so many good books out there to read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    a comic novel with depth of feeling!

    loved the characters and was contantly surprised by the plot despite the Austin homage. A lovely intelligent novel about family relationships and the stages of romantic love.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    This is not Jane Austen

    This is the wordiest book! This book is for people who delight in other people's suffering. It was very overwhelming in that so many things happened to the characters. Sometimes there was a smile, but most times it was a furrowed brow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    Jane Austen's books are classics for a reason--leave them alone!

    I absolutely hated this book. HATED. I kept hearing so many good things about it (reviews, not word of mouth) so when the library got a copy in, I decided to give it a shot. I hated it fairly early on. I forgot that it was based on Sense & Sensibility, one of my favorite Jane Austen novels, so when I recognized this fact (pretty early on--you are pretty much beat over the head with it plot/character similarities) I was annoyed. It was just so irritating to have this author subvert a gloriously written classic novel into her boring prose and annoying characters. Schine didn't just base this novel on S&S, she pretty much followed it to the extent that it was distracting--I began anticipating the plot and renaming the characters in my head (oh, yeah, this is so and so from S&S). While I love Jane Austen's characters, despite and because of their flaws, I found Schine's characters simply ineffectual, stupid, and annoying. I found absolutely nothing humorous in the book, and couldn't relate to the wealthy NYC Jewish-ness of the characters. I began skimming about 3/4 of the way thru because I found it too irritating to read every sentence. I didn't care about the ending and how anyone ended up. Awful, awful book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Disappointing

    After reading a number of wonderful reviews of this book, I could not wait to buy and read it. I even recommended it to my book group. Instead of a nuanced, classic read, I found this book to be flat and the characters, for the most part, uninteresting. I found that I mostly did not care about what happened to any of them in the end. My advice for would-be readers is to stick with Sense and Sensibility.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2014

    This was a library find that looked to be a fun read, so I grabb

    This was a library find that looked to be a fun read, so I grabbed it. The Three Weissmans of Westport, author Cathleen Schine’s tribute to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, takes the story of a recently widowed mother and her young daughters being tossed out of their home in 18th-century England and fast forwards and morphs it into a 21st-century divorce, American-style.




    Taken completely on its own The Three Weissmanns is a somewhat fun and witty look at the demise of a marriage and its ripple effects on the entire family. However, juxtaposed against Austen’s classic, two things struck me: 1) how far women’s lives have evolved in autonomy and independence, but 2) how little women’s emotional independence appears to have evolved in the same time period.




    Certainly, the premise of this story is a tempting one – the wealthy husband of a long-married couple tosses his wife from their home and puts the financial screws on her after he falls in love with a younger woman. With her grown daughters also facing financial ruin, the three women accept a relative’s offer of a beach cottage, where they go to regroup and find new lives and loves amidst Westport high society. I really wanted to love this book, but in the end, I can only say I mildly liked it.




    What resonated was the story of Betty and Joseph, an older couple that still like each other, but have grown apart. This is the story of many couples and what can happen, especially to the wife when she’s never worked. Though I wanted to brain him, I understood Joseph’s delusion that he could recapture his youth with a younger woman. I liked Betty’s plucky attitude – she is miserable, but determined to stay optimistic, even if she has to convince herself she’s a widow. Also authentic and poignant is the story of Joseph’s changed relationship with his daughters.




    What I didn’t care for so much are daughters Annie and Miranda’s stories. Both are around 50 years old, and pretty much dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to love. Annie moons over author Frederick, who’s ruled by his adult children who hate Annie. And, Miranda falls for Kit, a young divorced actor with a child. Schine keeps the reader wondering about the two men’s intentions, but sometimes I felt she kept me wondering too much — so much so that I found neither love affair particularly exciting or interesting. Then, there is the elderly lawyer Roberts, who supposedly loves Miranda, but his story is so cagey and oddly developed, one really doesn’t know.




    Additionally, I had some rather sizable beefs with parts of the storyline. First, there are a couple of pivotal chance encounters which bring out key information, but the encounters are downright implausible. They simply are beyond the bounds of belief, making me wonder how how an editor let them through. Secondly, Miranda’s story has a huge twist in the end which I simply do not buy, given she’s a woman of almost 50.




    Still, another point in this book’s favor is the highlighting of the schizophrenia of women’s lives even 200 years after Jane Austen’s work. Schine’s work shows both how far women have come, and how much is still the same. Certainly, Annie and Miranda are independent women with careers of their own and the ability to chart their own course without men at the helm. This is heartening. What is sad is that their attitudes to love are pretty much stuck in the 18th-century, with both women mooning over men like lovesick cows and pretty much pinning their happiness on men. What is even sadder is that it’s true of most women today.




    And then, there’s poor Betty – always a stay-at-home mom, and even though wealthy, Joseph is able to bring her to the brink of financial ruin unless she buckles under to his terms even in this day and age. These issues are still societal problems and Schine’s shining a light on them is important.




    This was a very hard book for me to rate, but in the end, it was not near as promising as I had hoped. On my website, I gave it a 2.5, but I bumped it up to 3 on here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Loved the story and the writing.

    I didn't think I was going to like it at first but fell in love with the writing. Would really like a sequel to see how things turn out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    loved this book

    this book took place in connecticut where i live. it was also the first book that i read on my nook. put all these things together and you come up with a great story that can be related to

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Enjoying the book.

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    This is one of the worst books I have ever read. I only finishe

    This is one of the worst books I have ever read. I only finished it because once I start a book I'm compelled to read it to the end. It is almost 300 pages of the characters' constant complaining -- "kvetching," I believe it is called. The plot is totally contrived, with the same characters popping up everywhere. If I could give it no stars, I would. Jane Austen? Cathleen Schine can't tie Jane Austen's shoelaces!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Great!

    Loved this story. The characters are endearing and a joy to read about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2013

    Loved It

    Not meant to rival Jane Austen. Sense & Sensibility is only an inspiration. Read it instead for the humor and truth of the overarching situations of the mother's & sisters' lives & loves. I was genuinely charmed. This is Shine's best novel. Her others are only fair; this one is excellent -- more than a beach read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Not my favorite

    This was mildly entertaining quick read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    Horrible

    Only finished because it was our book club read. Terrible characters, stupid story. Don't waste your time.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Witty and delightful

    I really loved the shadow of "Sense and Sensibility" in the storyline of the book. Since S and S is my fav of the Austen books it was fun to anticipate how the story would turn to follow the original story line. It is certainly not the same story -but similar nonetheless. Fast easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!

    This book was terrible. I could barely get through it. It was painful to read. If I could give it no stars, I would.

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