Jane Austen in Boca: A Novel
Title: Jane Austen in Boca: A Novel
Author: Paula Marantz Cohen
A witty send-up of Pride and Prejudice set in a Florida retirement village follows a circle of retirees on a hilarious voyage of love and manners.
Also: Jane Austen in Scarsdale
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.