Dive Into These Books Set in Westchester
Our county is so picturesque, it could serve as the setting of a novel. In fact, it often has. From thrillers to beach reads, these six books have one thing in common: They are based in the 914.
Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs
By Paula Marantz Cohen
After Cohen’s Jane Austen in Boca (2003), she wrote this twist on Austen’s last fully completed novel, Persuasion. In this modern-day tale set in Westchester, protagonist Anne Ehrlich is heading the guidence department at the fictional Fenimore High School when her old boyfriend Ben Cutler enrolls his nephew. Though the star-crossed lovers had separated a decade earlier, Anne’s feelings for Ben reignite, even though he is now engaged to another woman.
275 pages (pbk), St. Martin’s Press, $23.95
The Hazards of Good Fortune
By Seth Greenland
In this Greenland novel (which was praised by Seinfeld’s Larry David), the themes of wealth, privilege, racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism are explored through a rich cast of characters. Protagonist Jay Gladstone hails from a family of privilege but is a socially minded philanthropist who recognizes the social divide and its inherent dissonance. With references to Port Chester, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, and Bedford, readers will feel well connected to the county through this thoughtful yet humorous book.
624 pages (pbk), Europa Editions, $20
By Rachel Cullen
This beach read from Pelham-based fiction writer Rachel Cullen explores love and self-exploration through four interconnected women — the career-driven Sabrina, a whose love life gets rocked right after her engagement; Heather, who is recovering from cancer on Cape Cod; Sabrina’s sister, Molly, who moves to Rye from Colorado and desperately tries to keep up with her tony neighbors; and Megan, who spends the summer taking care of Heather’s children as she tries to manage her relationship with her bicontinental boyfriend. In this page-turner, each woman experiences relationship struggles while learning who and what are most important to them.
337 pages (pbk), CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $12.99
I Know Everything
By Matthew Farrell
Yorktown Heights author Matthew Farrell tells the story of a fatal car crash that robbed prominent psychiatrist Randall Brock of his wife. After police investigator Susan Adler discovers evidence of foul play, Randall, who has a history of violence, finds himself under suspicion. Though Randall insists he didn’t murder his wife, he winds up doubting himself as his sanity begins to slip away. A mysterious stranger emerges and long-held secrets come to light in this twisty psychological thriller set almost entirely in Westchester. 334 pages (pbk), Thomas & Mercer, $24.95
By Wendy Corsi Staub
In the decade since she barely escaped falling prey to a serial killer in NYC, Allison Taylor MacKenna has tried to live a normal life as a married woman ensconced in the quiet suburb of Westchester. But lately she’s been experiencing a renewed terror when she realizes that although she escaped the serial killer known as Nightwatcher, she may still be in peril, despite the monster having committed suicide in a prison cell. A classic Wendy read.
403 pages (pbk), Harper Collins, $24.95