Like many Jane Austen fans, I have my favorites (Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Emma), those in the middle (Mansfield Park and Persuasion) and bringing up the rear, Sense and Sensibility. I don’t mean to have favorites, or exclude anyone, it’s just the way my brain works.
So although I am a die heard JA fan, Sense and Sensibility has to be my least favorite. It’s long and moody, and although there are great characters (Col. Brandon) and lots to love, there is even more to be bored with.
I’ve read a lot of terrible Sense and Sensibility reboots, perhaps trying to find a new angle to love. I’m happy to say The Dashwood Sisters is not one of the bad ones. I actually enjoyed this book very much.
Set in modern day Britain, The Dashwood Sisters, brings our Dashwoods into our century, in a fresh way. The author didn’t seem hampered in by the original Sense and Sensibility and allowed her story to flow into other directions. The “Secrets of Love” that begin each chapter were fun and helped point the chapters in the right direction.
I really enjoyed how Rushton created this new tale. She brought Georgie into her own as I always thought JA kind of left her to dawdle as the other sisters fell in and out of love. Ellie (Eleanor) being my favorite character wasn’t quite as lurched by love, but I enjoyed her new-found modernism and independence. Abby (Marianne) wasn’t as annoying in this book as I normally find her to be and I thought the author modernized her “outlandish” behavior quite well. Especially toward the end of the book. I like how she worked the Col. Brandon character in (Nick). He’s so different from the Colonel we know and yet, you find yourself feeling very much the same for him. Dad and mom split, modern family dynamics changed and then lost, this book brought in tastes of the original without stalling.
A most enjoyable read and the best S&S reboot I’ve read.