The Family Fortune
By Laurie Horowitz
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780060875268, 304pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
List Price: $24.95*
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Jane Austen in Boston: a modern retelling of Persuasionin 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.