Billed as "a radiant retelling of Jane Austen's "Persuasion," this is the story of the Fortune family of Boston, which has just lost much of its fortune. Jane, however, doesn't mind as much as her sister and father, because she runs the family foundation and a literary magazine connected to it. Jane's problem is that she's 38, unmarried, and still pining for her first love, a now-famous novelist. Lots of fun twists and turns and wry social commentary. Recommended
I really enjoyed this modern retelling of Jane Austen's "Persuasion". I know the original inside and out and I was still highly amused by this version. If you don't know the original, you will find as much enjoyment in this book as if you did. I thought the author did an excellent job of finding a context that would accurately replicate the original and still keep it fresh and original. I recommend this book!
4 stars on this Persuasion-based novel...I really liked Jane, the main character. As with Jane Austen's novels, this one had annoying female characters...sometimes I wanted to scream at them! But, the plot was well-developed and, in my opinion, had enough new ideas to make it a "retelling" as opposed to just copying Austen's work.
Laurie Horowitz did a fabulous job of updating my beloved Persuasion for the modern world in The Family Fortune. The Fortunes are decidedly Boston Old Money with connections and oodles of spare time to devote to their favorite pastime: themselves. Of course when financial disaster strikes, the family must retrench* and a whole new world is opened up for Jane. Morphing Anne Elliot into Jane Fortune, an almost-forty year old trustafarian who spends her days editing the Euphemia Review, was pure genius in my book. And once again my heart broke over and over for Jane as I watched the world pass her by. Truly I don't know how such a passive character could ever win me over, but she does. Perhaps it's her eventual determination to take control of her life little by little in order to carve out her own bit of happiness away from her rotten family.
My only complaint with The Family Fortune happens to be a somewhat large sticking point: Max Wellman (the reinvention of Cpt. Wentworth). Throughout most of the book, I ached with Jane as she silently pined for her lost love and then as she was 'reunited' with him only to watch him date other women. To say I was building up their eventual reunion would be a complete understatement -- I was expecting true fireworks people. Sadly, there was no grand moment of love rekindled. Not even an impassioned letter from Max! **cue extreme sobbing** Just simple, no nonsense decisions. Which does go along with Jane's character but I was just hoping for something a teeny bit more swoon-worthy. But honestly? I still love this book for Jane's transformation alone, even if her happily ever after wasn't as blissful as Anne Elliot's. I'm thinking any true lover of Persuasion will think so too.
Really enjoyed this book. This is one of the only modern type books based on Austen's Persuasion. I felt the story believable, witty, and at times very very funny. If you enjoy Persuasion and modern day settings, you'll like this.
Laurie Horowitz's brilliant debut novel began as an exercise, as Horowitz, a Jane Austen enthusiast, thought she needed more practice writing the dialogue of mean people. The result is a witty social commentary on the old rich, interwoven with a love story that will make readers sigh.
Technically, THE FAMILY FORTUNE is a retelling of Jane Austen's PERSUASION. However, it's interesting to see how Horowitz places the story in modern times. Practical Jane Fortune is 38 years old and perpetually single. She lives in the Fortunes' old family home with her father, Teddy, and older sister Miranda, neither of whom know the meaning of the word "budget." Jane spends most of her time either reading books or working for her family's philanthropic organization, which publishes the literary magazine the Euphemia Review and, every year, grants a promising new writer a place to stay to write his or her novel.
When their family is forced to move due to their financial crisis, Jane stays with her sister Winnie's family for a while. Unfortunately--or luckily, whatever you call it--this means she crosses paths again with Max Wellman, the first recipient of the Fortune Foundation's literary grant. Max was her first love, but their relationship was stopped by Jane's disapproving family, who didn't want her to be with a struggling artiste. Fifteen years later, Max is successful writer with a womanizing reputation, and Jane is still the same as ever. Go figure.
Circumstances seem to make it impossible for Max to fall in love with the still-besotted Jane again. Meanwhile, Jane struggles to make an identity for herself, separate from the one her ridiculous family gives her. Maybe it's only after she learns to love herself that Jane can be open to making her own decisions about her life, and her love.
THE FAMILY FORTUNE is a wonderfully told story of the absurdities of high society and the growth of a sensible woman. The romance part of the story left me a bit disappointed, but I appreciated this remarkably successful Austenian-type novel.