The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton

In Modern day England, the privileged Dashwood Sisters' lives changed for the worse (in their opinion) when their parents divorced and their father married a health nut trophy wife. Their situation worsens after their father passes away and they are uprooted from his ancestral home in Suffolk to small, sea-side Norfolk, where they have to watch their budget (which is nearly zip) and deal with an overly zealous relative who is allowing them to stay in her cottage rent-free.

This book was better than expected! When I first started reading it, I wasn't sure how things would turn out. The book is set in the modern world so logistics had to be changed a bit in order for the main plot idea to work. For example, in modern days, women can inherit property. That alone changes how the situation could be handled. 

The biggest challenge for me between The Dashwood Sisters' and Sense & Sensibility was having to let go of the comparison between the two stories. The Dashwood Sisters' might have the same basic storyline where these rich girls were uprooted from their current life to a poorer one, but that's where most of the comparisons stop. Maryanne is named George, there is no Colonel Brandon (how could there be? It's inappropriate now a days for a 30 year old man to be catching a 16 year old bride!) and the middle sister, Abby, vies for a boy against a friend (which is much more reminiscent of Emma's plot than Sense & Sensibility). 

This book is a much lighter read than Sense & Sensibility would be (this is one of Jane Austen's novels I haven't read yet, but I'm familiar with the plotline due to the various film remakes, but if it's anything like Persuasion or Pride & Prejudice, much has been left out). For having their lives totally upended and switched around, and being teenage girls, much of their anger is focused on their dislike of their father's new wife and very little of the actual change in situation they have. They seem to accept their new lives fairly easily, especially considering the drama-queen the middle one could be in their "rich" life. It just wasn't as heavy of a read as it could have been which made it a quick, light read.

I still enjoyed the book, despite the seemingly mixed up plots of Sense & Sensilibility and Emma. I wish I had read it without having the Jane Austen comparison in my head because I think I would have enjoyed it more, but I only picked it up because it was based on Jane Austen's novel (based on is a much better explanation of the plot than expecting a retelling of the story). I am glad I read it, and I actually enjoyed the fact that it was a light read--sometimes you just need something easy to enjoy.


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