The Three Weissmanns of Westport. She isn’t retelling the story of S&S so much as paying homage to the “smart sister, sensitive sister” dynamic, and her approach is less distracting than Schine’s.
Like Austen, Goodman talks a lot about money in this book, and who has it and who doesn’t. Emily and her fiancé Jonathan (a CEO of a different startup) get very rich when their respective companies go public. Several other characters are quite wealthy, too. But I didn’t enjoy Goodman’s descriptions of high-end houses and cars and restaurants. I know the story is set 10 years ago (almost historical fiction!) but I was really put off by everyone’s air of entitlement, as if it was somehow inevitable that they were all going to end up rich. I will say that money doesn’t equal goodwill in Goodman’s world. Both Jonathan and George (ex-Microsoft) are unpleasant ubercompetitive jerks and one of them meets an untimely end. I’m sorry, do I sound like a total killjoy? I can’t help it. The book’s attitude toward money just seemed so retrograde and not in a good way.
On the other hand I wasn’t bored! Plenty of stuff happens (how’s THAT for a plot description?) and Jess is delightful, even if Emily can be a bit of a pill. The subplot about the mysterious collection of cookbooks is inventive and engrossing. Sometimes a book can have imperfections and still be a good read. The book I’m reading now, All Other Nights, by Dara Horn (plot inconsistencies! flat characters!) falls into that category too. I’ll say more about that idea when I post about that book.
(Book 37, 3011)