The Cousins

The Cousins

4.5 2
by Rona Jaffe
     
 

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From the “master storyteller”* of The Best of Everything comes a wise and wonderful novel of family loyalties (and disloyalties).
 
Olivia is a twice-divorced New Yorker from a large extended family who grew up together on a magnificent summer estate, Mandelay. Although the cousins have scattered across the country, following

Overview

From the “master storyteller”* of The Best of Everything comes a wise and wonderful novel of family loyalties (and disloyalties).
 
Olivia is a twice-divorced New Yorker from a large extended family who grew up together on a magnificent summer estate, Mandelay. Although the cousins have scattered across the country, following sharply divergent paths, memories of their shared childhood continue to resonate, shaping their lives and decisions. When they’re together, they long for a vanished past, but alone Olivia must face a family legacy of lies, infidelity and tragedy.
 
The Cousins is a sweeping saga that richly portrays the secrets we keep from family and from ourselves, from an author who voiced the experience of a generation.
 
PRAISE FOR RONA JAFFE
 
“Reading Rona Jaffe is like being presented with a Cartier watch: you know exactly what you’re getting and it’s exactly what you want.”—*Cosmopolitan
 
“Vivid and trenchant… Wry and very readable… A minor genius.”—New York Times Book Review
 
“Jaffe has not lost her wit, her keen eye for human frailties and her ear for the small but telling remark.”—Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once upon a time, Jaffe comfortably occupied a fictional territory pretty much all by herself: such bestselling fare as Class Reunion and The Last Chance sated readers' appetites for sexy domestic melodramas. But others moved onto this turf, many with franker and more graphic tales to tell. So now Jaffe may strike some as a trifle tamer, her small talk a little smaller. Her story of a wealthy department-store clan once held together by their summer manse but now scattered across the country seems almost familiar: nods of recognition may greet the Millers' criss-crossing encounters (at funerals, bar mitzvahs and the like), their grievances and their assorted peccadilloes. Twice-divorced cousin Olivia and her longtime companion Roger, veterinarians who share an N.Y.C. home, a practice and a comfy if unexciting life, anchor the proceedings; Roger strays and returns, Olivia does the same. But fictional familiarity can breed contentment, and though these cousins' distance from one another at times distances readers, too, the good news is that Jaffe has not lost her wit, her keen eye for human frailties and her ear for the small but telling remark. Though not bursting with excitement, Olivia and her relatives are an altogether agreeable lot. 60,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In her previous novels, Class Reunion (LJ 5/15/79) and After the Reunion (LJ 8/85), Jaffe addresses troubled relationships and women who seek happier lives. The novel centers on Olivia Miller Okrent and her lover, Roger. The cousins of the title appear sporadically, gathering briefly for funerals and bar mitzvahs and then dashing off on exotic vacations. Olivia and Roger share a veterinary practice and a lovely townhouse. Their idyllic life is ruptured by Roger's succumbing to a sexual fantasy. Olivia, in turn, embarks on an affair of her own, all the while reflecting on her family ties and tensions. All is forgiven and forgotten by the last chapter. Fans may be disappointed that this novel never quite takes off, and the story is light fare even if it were summer reading. Purchase only where the author has a following.-Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., N.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698150928
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/18/2014
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
530,192
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Rona Jaffe (1931-2005) was the author of sixteen books, including the bestselling internationally acclaimed novels The Best of Everything, The Road Taken, Family Secrets, Mr. Right is Dead, Mazes and Monsters, The Last Chance, and Five Women, as well as the classic bestsellers Class Reunion and The Room-Mating Season. She founded The Rona Jaffe Foundation, which presents annual awards to promising women writers of literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. It is the only national literary awards program of its kind dedicated to supporting women writers exclusively. Ms. Jaffe was a lifelong New Yorker.

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Cousins 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The entrance has been blocked my a giant metal lock. No way out.
avidreaderctb More than 1 year ago
A very interesting family and the way they interact.