Jane Austen in Boca
By Paula Marantz Cohen
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312290887, 288pp.)
Publication Date: November 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
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.
"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