Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Dashwood Sisters tell All-Beth Pattillo-

The Dashwood Sisters tell All
Beth Pattillo
Guidepost, Apr 1 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780824948740

Only their mom’s will would send sisters Ellen and Mimi Dodge on an English adventure together as the siblings have nothing in common except their disdain for one another. Their late mom Caroline was a devoted Janeite; for her daughters to inherit, they must spread her ashes in Hampshire. Thus the pair is in England with the mission to follow Jane’s trail and to read her sister Cassandra’s diary that discusses how they almost became estranged. Each has a different motive re the diary and its potential value if authentic.

They begin the walking tour with disdain as Mimi’s facial in London made them miss the bus. The Dodge sisters visit the Austen sites ending at Winchester Cathedral where Jane is buried. At each stop they leave some of their mom’s ashes. As others on the tour seem to know what they are doing including Jane, descendent Ethan and Ellen’s college crush, Daniel, the duet also begins to uncover secrets contained in Cassandra's diary that someone, probably on the tour, wants it to remain buried.

The third modern take of an Austen classic (see Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart) is a charming contemporary spin of Sense and Sensibility as Ellen and Mimi Dodge are obviously Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. The story line is character driven with the diary insisting that the classic tale is based on the real road trip of the Austen sisters. Fans will enjoy the latest tribute to Jane as the Dodge sister’s foibles match those of the Dashwood Sisters who may match those of the Austen sisters.

Harriet Klausner

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