Posted by: Shirley | December 11, 2011

“The Family Fortune” and Tea at the Gardner

WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, 2011
BOOK: The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz
WHERE: Cafe G at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
RSVP:  Leave a comment here or on Facebook if you’re coming.

Jane Fortune has a problem. Thanks to the profligate habits of her father and older sister, the family’s money has evaporated and Jane has to move out of the only home she’s ever known: a stately brick town house on Boston’s prestigious Beacon Hill. Perhaps what’s worse is that Jane, at thirty-eight, has never had the gumption to leave in the first place. She is terminally single and fears that she has been left on the shelf to curdle like cream.

Unlike her father and sister, Jane doesn’t spend her days in the pursuit of idle pleasures — the best wines, cosmetics, plastic surgeries, spas, haircuts. For fifteen years Jane has been running the Fortune Family Foundation through which she started a literary fellowship and, almost to her own surprise, a journal of great renown. Though too modest to acknowledge it, she’s also helped spark the careers of many a budding writer. That includes Max Wellman, the first winner of the fellowship and also Jane’s first — and only — love.

The loss of the family home launches Jane into a peripatetic lifestyle that begins with a visit to her spoiled younger sister, Winnie, in the suburbs. It is then that Max Wellman comes back into Jane’s circle. Both Max and Jane have changed in the intervening years. While Max has become a bestselling novelist, known as the literary lothario due to the number of conquests reported by the tabloids, it could be said that Jane had misplaced her luster.

But change is afoot. Along the way to bailing out her family and reigniting the flame of true love, Jane discovers enough about herself to shed her spinster persona and become the woman she was always meant to be.



  1. Hi! I am brand new to the Boston area – just moved here from Texas for a job and I would love to join y’all. I am a member of JASNA Houston and love to read and chat about Jane’s stories. Hope y’all don’t mind another member!

  2. Hi, Bryanna! Welcome to Boston, and we would love to have another member! And to hear all about JASNA Houston.

    Feel free to join us also at our event next week:

    And if you use Facebook, some members are coordinating carpooling to the Gardner museum: .

    Let me or Kirk (our lead organizer) know if you have any other questions, and we’ll see you at the Gardner!


  3. Shirley, we definitely have to do a tea review of the gardner!!!


  4. Agreed! They don’t do a formal afternoon tea, but they are new.


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