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Jane Austen in Scarsdale, or, Love, death, and the SATs /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: St. Martin's Press, 2006
Edition: First edition.
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Anne Ehrlich is a dedicated guidance counselor steering her high-school charges through the perils of college admission. Thirteen years ago, when she was graduating from Columbia University, her wealthy family---especially her dear grandmother Winnie---persuaded her to give up the love of her life, Ben Cutler, a penniless boy from Queens College. Anne has never married and hasn't seen Ben since---until his nephew turns up in her high school and starts applying to college.
Now Ben is a successful writer, a world traveler, and a soon-to-be married man; and Winnie's health is beginning to fail. All of these changes have Anne beginning to wonder Can old love be rekindled, or are past mistakes too painful to forget?
With all the wit and perceptiveness of Jane Austen's "Persuasion," "Jane Austen in Scarsdale" is a fresh and romantic new comedy from a novelist with "a knack for making modern life reflect literature in the most engaging manner" "(Library Journal)."

Review by Booklist Review

Following her send-up of Pride and Prejudice,0 Jane Austen in Boca0 (2002), Cohen tackles Austen's final novel, Persuasion,0 about first love getting a second chance. At age 21, Anne Ehr-lich was persuaded by her family to break up with her poverty-stricken boyfriend, Ben Cutler. Thirteen years later, Anne is working as a guidance counselor at a competitive high school when Ben, now the well-known founder of a travel guide series, walks back into her life. His nephew, Jonathan, is transferring to the school Anne works at, and Ben is determined to get him into Columbia, the university Anne herself attended. Anne finds her feelings about Ben haven't changed one bit, but Ben is engaged to another and doesn't seem inclined to forgive Anne for caving in to her family's wishes all those years ago. Cohen's novel is part witty satire on the college application process and part love story, guaranteeing Austenites and lovers of romantic comedy in general will cotton to this charming modernization of one of Austen's best novels. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2006 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Cohen tackled a Jane Austen plot once before, in Jane Austen in Boca (2003). In this novel, she pays witty homage to Persuasion?with a twist that wrings modern meaning out of the word?as she explores the lengths to which a high school guidance counselor goes to get her privileged students into college. Head of guidance at Fenimore High, Anne Ehrlich is knee-deep in worried students, demanding parents and the politics of college admissions when her old flame Ben Cutler returns to Scarsdale and enrolls his nephew in Fenimore. Anne's beloved granny?the only trustworthy relative in her family of self-centered social climbers?talked Anne into dumping Ben 13 years before, when he was a travel agency peon. Since then, he's become a successful travel writer and hooked a beautiful, worldly fiancee. Pulled back into Ben's orbit by his college-bound nephew, Anne can't hide from her long-suppressed feelings anymore?but she'll try her best by getting involved with grieving poet Peter Jacobson. Endearing and fun, this narrative will ring true for anyone who's had a peek into the madness of college admissions, as well as anyone who's been unlucky in love. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Review

This modern take on Persuasion is Cohen's second novel modeled after Austen's work (Jane Austen in Boca was based on Pride and Prejudice) and her third novel to date. The story centers on Anne Ehrlich, a high school guidance counselor in her mid-thirties who is extremely dedicated to her work and her family. Once wealthy, her family has fallen on hard times, and Anne, the responsible one, is forced to oversee the sale of their ancestral home. While Anne appears to have everything in control, one youthful decision still haunts her: her rejection 13 years ago of the love of her life, Ben, who had been deemed unsuitable by Anne's grandmother. Ben, however, has turned out be a successful travel writer, and when he decides to settle down so that his nephew can finish high school at the school where, unbeknown to him, Anne works, she is confronted by the past and the unhappiness she feels. Although the plot in the first part of the novel bogs down around the college application process, superb writing and the appeal of Anne and Ben's relationship eventually make this a fulfilling read. Sure to be popular with Cohen's many readers as well as Jane Austen fans. Recommended for all public libraries.-Karen Core, Detroit P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is the author of two previous novels, Jane Austen in Boca and Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan , and four scholarly works of nonfiction, including Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth and The Daughter as Reader: Encounters Between Literature and Life . She lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, with her husband and two children.

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