The Family Fortune

The Family Fortune

Book - 2006
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Jane Austen in Boston:
a modern retelling of Persuasion
in which the sensible daughter of a flighty
Brahmin family finds love against all odds

Jane Fortune has a problem. Thanks to the profligate habits of her father and older sister, the family's money has evaporated and Jane has to move out of the only home she's ever known: a stately brick town house on Boston's prestigious Beacon Hill. Perhaps what's worse is that Jane, at thirty-eight, has never had the gumption to leave in the first place. She is terminally single and fears that she has been left on the shelf to curdle like cream.

Unlike her father and sister, Jane doesn't spend her days in the pursuit of idle pleasures -- the best wines, cosmetics, plastic surgeries, spas, haircuts. For fifteen years Jane has been running the Fortune Family Foundation through which she started a literary fellowship and, almost to her own surprise, a journal of great renown. Though too modest to acknowledge it, she's also helped spark the careers of many a budding writer. That includes Max Wellman, the first winner of the fellowship and also Jane's first -- and only -- love.

The loss of the family home launches Jane into a peripatetic lifestyle that begins with a visit to her spoiled younger sister, Winnie, in the suburbs. It is then that Max Wellman comes back into Jane's circle. Both Max and Jane have changed in the intervening years. While Max has become a bestselling novelist, known as the literary lothario due to the number of conquests reported by the tabloids, it could be said that Jane had misplaced her luster.

But change is afoot. Along the way to bailing out her family and reigniting the flame of true love, Jane discovers enough about herself to shed her spinster persona and become the woman she was always meant to be.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060875268
0060875267
Branch Call Number: F HOR NVD

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m
meanjulio
Nov 24, 2011

Truly a modern Jane Austen. I have cringed at a few chick-lit authours who have been presented with that title, but Laurie Horowitz is the first one I've read who absolutely deserves it.

The story is filled with the same vain, conceited, and somewhat clueless supporting cast that translates easily into modern Boston society. Also, each chapter is peppered with little observations and witticisms on things like behaving in the role of a proper single aunt, or how certain people have children in order to have a built-in purpose to their lives. Hilarious!

If you loved Persuasion, you will love this. The Family Fortune has its own twists away from the original, but the main plot elements are all there, and a delight to rediscover.

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