When Joseph Weissmann announced to his wife Betty that he wanted a divorce, she was stunned. After all, they had been married for forty-eight years. His reason made no sense to her, either. Irreconcilable differences, he stated. He was seventy-eight years old and Betty was seventy-five. Of course, one of his reasons had a lot to do with a new woman in his life—Felicity. And her influence on him affects many of his decisions.
The apartment on Central Park West had been home to Joseph and Betty for many years. So when Joseph told his wife that she would have to leave, since her only financial contribution had been the small down payment, she felt confused. Homeless at her age? She had no clue that Felicity’s desire for the apartment was one of Joseph’s motivations.
Betty’s daughters, Annie and Miranda, were furious with their stepfather, but grateful for Cousin Lou, who offered the three of them a cottage in Westport. In the somewhat shabby cottage, the three women began to try to put their lives back together. Annie, a librarian, is the pragmatic one and tries to help the women sort things out. Miranda, whose literary agency is under siege because the “memoirists” under her tutelage have turned out to be frauds, must figure out what to do with her life next, but she has had a tendency in the past to make foolish choices.
Like many women who are cast aside, these three are suffering a kind of grief for their losses. They also discover that they have untapped strengths, and as they plumb the depths to rediscover who they are, they are surprised by the hidden treasures inside themselves.
What will ultimately happen between Joseph and Betty? Will Miranda finally find the love of her life, and when she does, how will she handle the unexpectedness of it? Will Annie overcome her fears of losing control long enough to see the love that is right in front of her?
In the novel The Three Weissmanns of Westport: A Novel, the three women were richly drawn, with all the flaws and strengths of real people. I enjoyed following their journey, and at the end, some surprises awaited. 4.5 stars.