Jane Austen in Boca

( 7 )

Overview

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nice Jewish widower must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen centered her classic novels of manners around "three or four families in a country village." So does Paula Marantz Cohen in her novel, a witty twist on Pride and Prejudice--except this time, the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida.

Eligible men, especially ones in possession of a good fortune and country club privileges, are scarce. When ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$16.15
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$18.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (81) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $1.99   
  • Used (72) from $1.99   
Jane Austen in Boca: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nice Jewish widower must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen centered her classic novels of manners around "three or four families in a country village." So does Paula Marantz Cohen in her novel, a witty twist on Pride and Prejudice--except this time, the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida.

Eligible men, especially ones in possession of a good fortune and country club privileges, are scarce. When goodhearted meddler Carol Newman learns that the wealthy Norman Grafstein has lost his wife, she resolves to marry him off to her lonely mother-in-law, May.

The novel charts the progress of May's love life as well as that of her two closest friends: the strong-minded former librarian Flo Kliman and the flamboyant Lila Katz. If there weren't confusion enough, Flo's great-niece Amy, a film student at NYU, suddenly arrives with a camera crew determined to get it all on tape.

Will May and Norman eventually find happiness? Will Flo succumb to the charms of the suavely cosmopolitan Mel Shirmer? Will Amy's movie about them win an Academy Award--or at least a prize at the NYU student film competition?

Complications and misunderstandings abound in this romantic and perceptive comedy of manners.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Vanity Fair
"Utterly charming...think Pride and Prejudice, but with better weather."
People
"Page-turner of the week.... In this witty romp, widowed Jewish women and their extended kin fill in for the country families in Pride and Prejudice…. What's not to like?"
San Francisco Chronicle
"Clever, warm-hearted...Cohen's wit is sharp, smart, and satirical, and her characterizations are vividly on target."
Joan Rivers
"I can't imagine a more perfect afternoon than sitting by a pool reading Jane Austen in Boca...Whether you're from Boca, Brooklyn, or Beverly Hills, be sure to make time to read this very funny book."
Publishers Weekly
The Bennett daughters are recast as elderly Jewish widows in this amusing, kvetchy take on Pride and Prejudice. May Newman, a sweet, gentle woman in her 70s, is happily settled at the Boca Festa retirement community in Boca Raton, Fla., where she enjoys the companionship of her best friends, Lila Katz, a pragmatic redhead in search of a well-to-do husband, and Flo Kliman, a sharp-tongued retired librarian. May's pleasant daily routine is disrupted when her matchmaking New Jersey daughter-in-law visits and introduces May to recently widowed Norman Grafstein, a particularly eligible senior. Despite herself, May finds she enjoys Norman's company, but Flo takes an instant dislike to Norman's best friend, cranky English professor emeritus Stan Jacobs. The plot unfolds in ways predictable to those familiar with Pride and Prejudice (or any of its many adaptations), enhanced by Cohen's near-sociological scrutiny of life in Boca Raton. Cohen (whose mother-in-law lives in Boca) has a sharp eye for details like its residents' favorite colors (pink, turquoise and gold), preferred shopping destination (Loehmann's) and favorite movie (Schindler's List). The Austen parallels are cleverly drawn and culminate in a class on Pride and Prejudice offered by Stan, who discovers that the Boca Festa women identify with the meddling Mrs. Bennett rather than heroine Elizabeth. The humor may be of the Borscht Belt variety ("she would find May Newman a husband or plotz"), but it will be thoroughly appreciated by the snowbird set. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A clever update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this first novel is set in a Jewish retirement community in Boca Raton, FL. Carol Newman is obsessively seeking a mate for her widowed mother-in-law, May. When Carol decides that the recently bereaved and very wealthy Norman Grafstein is the ideal candidate, the resulting comedy of manners is worthy of Austen herself. The author's perceptive observations of life among the retirees of Florida are combined with skillful parallels to the plot and characters of the original novel. The narrative flows, and the reader will be chuckling, trying to guess who from Boca is a character from Austen. Particularly delightful is Flo Kliman, the contemporary Elizabeth Bennett character, a retired librarian from the University of Chicago with a keen intellect and acerbic wit. Although certain aspects of the plot seem contrived, this fiction debut by humanities professor Cohen, who has written scholarly studies such as Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth, will amuse readers everywhere. Recommended for public libraries, especially those with significant Jewish communities.-Andrea Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The title says it all. Cohen, a humanities professor and author of several books of scholarly nonfiction, offers a kosher teacake of a first novel loosely fashioned after Pride and Prejudice and elucidating the social mores of genteel Jewish retirees in Boca Raton.

Cohen’s Boca are the condominium complexes full of retirees primarily from the Northeast. Best friends May Newman, Flo Kliman, and Lila Katz are widows in their 70s living quietly in Boca Festa, a typical Boca complex, not as shabby as some nor as grand as the most exclusive. Then Carol Newman, a contemporary suburban yenta cum Emma, sets up her placid, passive mother-in-law May with Norman Grafstein, a wealthy retiree, while financially strapped Lila encourages the attentions she receives from the crudely foolish but relatively well-off Hy Marcus. That leaves Flo, a former librarian at the University of Chicago, who claims to be uninterested in romance. Sophisticated, acerbic Flo is soon sparring with Norman’s friend Stan Jacobs, the recently widowed, somewhat dour English professor at the local university who is too overtly critical of the Boca lifestyle for Flo’s taste, though she’s not above mocking the foibles of her fellow residents herself. Enter Mel Shirmer, a divorced former journalist, too charming by half, who woos Flo while he considers buying a condo. The transparent plot, a follow-the-numbers exercise in Austen-copying, concerns the ups and downs of the widows’ romances. To say all ends happily gives nothing away. The story works best as social commentary—who knew, for instance, that Jews of a certain generation were Anglophiles who chose British last names like Howard and Irving as first names for their sons?The British and New Jersey accents here sometimes collide, but the Boca community is certainly Austenian in its rituals, rules of etiquette, and daily rites, such as shopping (Loehmann’s), home decorating (lots of turquoise), and entertaining (lots of food).

A silly trifle but clever and fun.

From the Publisher

"Whether you're from Boca, Brooklyn or Beverly Hills, make sure to make time to read this very funny book." --Joan Rivers

"Finally, a love story involving characters with grandchildren, social security checks, and membership in AARP!...both satirical and touching..." --Jane Heller

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312319755
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 644,462
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, and her in-laws live in Boca Raton, Florida. Her previous non-fiction books include Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth and The Daughter as Reader: Encounters Between Literature and Life. This is her first novel.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nice Jewish widower must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen centered her classic novels around "three or four families in a country village." So does Paula Marantz Cohen in this witty twist on Pride and Prejudice---except this time the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida.
Eligible men are scarce in Boca. When good-hearted meddler Carol Newman learns that the wealthy and personable Norman Grafstein has lost his wife, she resolves to marry him off to her lonely mother-in-law, May. Even May's sharp-tongued friend Flo approves of Norman---although Norman's best friend Stan, a cynical professor, keeps getting under Flo's skin.
Will May and Norman eventually find happiness? Will Flo succumb to the charms of the suavely cosmopolitan Mel Shirmer? Misunderstandings abound until love conquers both pride and prejudice in this perceptive, engaging comedy of manners.
Complications and misunderstandings abound in this romantic and perceptive comedy of manners.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    a surprisingly great book

    To be honest, I only got this book because I am obsessed with Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I didn't realize that it would be centered around a retirement home, and when I found out that it was, I was a little disappointed. However, as I kept on reading and began to fall in love with the characters despite their age and the fact that I couldn't really relate to any problems they might have been having, I realized that Cohen has a true talent for writing. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't wait to know the ending-- even though I knew it was based on Pride and Prejudice, it was still too addicting to put down! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    My 84 year old mother in law loved it!

    I gave this to my mother in law who raved about this book and now I see this author has another just published.....She would be here praising it herself but hasn't mastered the computer yet. But she is an avid reader and welcomed a story her generation could laugh and relate to and she just returned from South Florida and begged me to find her more like this! Any suggestions for her would be appreciated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2004

    I read this for my book club

    Perhaps if I was a lover of Jane Austen or at least schooled in the model of Pride and Prejudice, I would have appreciated this book more than I did. I found it to be very light. There was not much in the way of a plot and so for me it was 'blah.' It was an easy read and I completed the book but it was not a story that drew me in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    a hit

    For Mother's Day, I gave this book to grandmother, who lives in an assisted living community in philadelphia. The book has become quite a hit and is in high demand! My grandmother now keeps a waiting list for those who want to borrow the book (currently six people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2003

    A Fun, Easy Read

    that is thoroughly enjoyable. Read it on the treadmill, and it kept me from noticing the sweat on my brow. Everyone I've recommended the book to has also enjoyed it immensely.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2003

    Warm, Funny, Touching

    A wonderful and highly recommended book...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    You don't have to be Jewish...

    The goings-on at Jewish retirement complexes in Florida form a rich humor vein that has been mined by any number of writers, perhaps most notably Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry's parents lived in such a complex on SEINFELD, and every episode that took place there (the astronaut pen, the Cadillac, the impeachment of Jerry's dad as president of the Phase II condo association)was hilarious. Paula Cohen has found a fresh approach in modeling the denizens of the Boca Festa complex on the characters in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and part of the fun of this little novel is following the parallels between Austen's young Enlishwomen and Cohen's older Jewish women as they talk about, search for, avoid, and stumble into love. The classic story takes place amid all the stock characters and situations that make these retirement villages such a source of laughter (the Loehmann's dressing room is priceless, and, I am assured by friends whose parents inhabit these communities, on the money), but Paula Cohen accomplishes something that the SEINFELD writers never did: She makes this community sound like a pretty darn good place for intelligent, lively older women to live. That's because her humor arises out of affection. There are no Jack Klompuses in Boca Festa. A most enjoyable debut novel from a respected academic writer! And just as was the case with Levy's Rye Bread, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy it...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    Structure and Style in Boca

    Cohen adapts Pride and Prejudice to the senior set living in Boca Raton with wit, a keen eye for manners and customs, and a great sense of the rhythms of language and life one encounters there. The characters show why Austen's observations about human nature are timeless, and Cohen embodies in them the qualities of the Bennett sisters, post-menopause. Most impressive is the novel's structure, which brings the characters together--and to some self-realizations--in a formal discussion of Austen herself in one of Boca's retirement communities. The book, while mildly, often hilariously satiric, brims with a generosity of spirit and deep understanding of the generation of septuagenarian Jews and their offspring. Satisfying reading for anyone who enjoys novels of manners, Jane Austen, or finely wrought observations of life in ethnic communities.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)