The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
Reviewed by Tara Norman, Radiantlit.com
Genre: Christian, Fiction
Publication Dates: April 5, 2011
Every mother wants to see her daughters happy and settled. Caroline Dodge is no different. Caroline Dodge is a hopeless romantic when it comes to anything Jane Austin related. Her last dying wish is for her two daughters, Ellen and Mimmi to travel to England together and attend a walking tour of Hampshire, England, to explore where Jane and her sister lived. The two sisters assume their mother’s wish is for them to learn about all things Jane Austen and become an Austenite like her.
Once they arrive in Hampshire, one last package from their mother has to be opened. The sisters were instructed not to open the envelope until they arrived in England. Ellen opens the package to reveal that their mother leaves them Cassandra’s (Jane Austen’s sister) diary. Reading through Cassandra’s diary, Ellen and Mimmi discover that the two main characters in Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, were inspired by Cassandra and Jane’s relationship. They also find themselves identifying with the Dashwood sisters. The Dodge sisters work together to solve several riddles they found in the diary. Just as they are reconciling and making headway with the riddles, the diary is stolen. Several people from the tour come to mind as the thieves: Mrs. Gwendolyn Parrot, the Jane Austen expert: Ethan Blakemore, a debonair descendant of Jane Austin who recently inherited an estate: Daniel, Ellen’s first real love from college who is now an antiques dealer that showed up on the tour per Caroline Dodge’s request before she died.
Beth Pattillo’s The Dashwood Sisters Tell All is a modern-day spin on the Jane Austen classic with a bit of mystery mixed in. I immediately started assigning the Jane Austen characters to Beth’s characters. I love Jane Austen’s work and own all of her works in leather bound copy. I was very interested to read this book and was hoping the fictional story-behind the story- would be just as romantic and witty as Jane Austen’s books. I fell in love with the plot and the thoroughly loved learning about where Jane grew up. Two other books precede this one: Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart. I fully plan to get these other two book as well. Well done, Beth Pattillo. It’s never easy to write a story behind THE story.
Review Copy Provided by Guideposts. Thank you.