Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs Book Review

Pride and Prejudice will always be Jane Austen’s most popular novel. But Persuasion, her last novel, is the most powerful.

It is the voice of the mature writer that shines through almost 200 years later. The issues of loss, the questioning of past choices.The ability to move forward with your life and forgive yourself for your past mistakes. These themes are never more potent as they are in Persuasion.

Paula Marantz Cohen’s modern adaptation of Persuasion, Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death and the SAT’s transports Jane Austen’s final completed novel from early 19th century England to the modern day suburbs of New York City. Anne Ehrlich is a guidance counselor, guiding her students and their parents through the tricky path of college applications. 13 years earlier, when Anne was recent graduate of Columbia University, her grandmother Winnie convinced her to walk away from the love of her live. Ben Cutler was a penniless working class boy who her family did not approve of.

Anne is unmarried when the novel begins.  Ben returns to her life when his sister and nephew move into the area, along with his fiance. Anne must meet her former boyfriend as his nephew’s guidance counselor. With her grandmother’s fading health, Anne begins to question if she will ever have a second chance of happiness.

I liked this book. Certain characters has to be removed or merged with this modern adaptation, but that’s fine with me. It’s still Persuasion and I still get that little kick in the end when the former lovers have reunited and are on their way to a happy life.

I recommend this book.



Another Shooting

Another day ends in America. Another school shooting makes headlines. Another child walks into school in the morning and leaves in a body bag.

In Troutdale, Oregon, a teenage gunman killed one teenager and injured a teacher.

Another family that must bury their child before their time. Another family will miss out on the precious moments of life. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, career achievements, the birth of future grandchildren. None of these moments will happen for this family.

The Sandy Hook massacre was only a year and a half ago. 74 incidents of school shootings have occurred since then. And nothing has changed in this country.

I have nothing against the 2nd Amendment. But it was designed to allow American colonists to bear arms and protect themselves against the British Army. I don’t think the founding fathers imagined that over two hundred years later that the 2nd amendment would be used as a defense when children are being killed simply for going to school.

It’s another day in America. Another school shooting makes headlines.

It’s time to end the madness and protect our children.

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