Chicklit Club
 

BETH PATTILLO

 

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (2011)

 

Ellen and Mimi Dodge recently lost their mother. Her dying wish was for her daughters to return her ashes to her native England. Before they can receive their inheritance they must complete a walking tour of Hampshire in the hopes that they will come to love Jane Austen the way she did. Neither is looking forward to spending a week together. They have never been close and their mother's illness made their relationship even more strained. Mimi wants to get this over with so she can get her inheritance while Ellen just wants to move on with her life. Once in England the girls receive a package from their mother containing what may be Cassandra Austen's diary which details all of her sister Jane Austen's secrets. While Ellen and Mimi try to authenticate the diary and solve the riddle within its pages they find that their mother may be doing some match-making for her daughters from the grave. They soon find that someone on the walking tour does not want the diary in their possession and will do whatever it takes to get the diary for themselves. As Ellen and Mimi read Cassandra's diary they learn that Jane may have based the Dashwood sisters on her own relationship with Cassandra. This modern-day telling of Sense and Sensibility is a nice departure from the typical Pride and Prejudice-inspired books. The Dodge sisters have romantic issues just like the Dashwoods and Austens before them. This book shows that the issues that Jane Austen wrote about and faced herself are still relevant 200 years later. (AR) 7/10


 

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (2010)

 

Claire Prescott doesn't see the appeal of Mr Darcy. Unlike many women who are continually searching for their own romantic hero, Claire is content in her relationship with her sports-loving boyfriend, Neil. But when Claire agrees to stand in for her sister, Missy, at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England, she begins to wonder if there isn't something to this Mr Darcy myth after all. She meets James Beaufort, a handsome publisher, and Harriet Dalrymple, a strange old lady who claims to have the original manuscript of First Impressions, the story which evolved into what we now know as Pride and Prejudice. Between seminar meetings, and afternoons at Mrs Dalrymple's cottage, reading the scattered, hand-written pages, Claire becomes so enthralled by the story of Elizabeth and Darcy, she begins to question whether the elusive Mr Darcy really does exist in the form of James. This is an enjoyable read that will have even the most cynical wishing for a romantic, happy ending. (LEK)7/10


Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart - Second Opinion
 

Jane Austen Ruined My Life (2009)

 

When Emma Grant loses her husband to her teaching assistant and her career to the scandal that follows, she does what any betrayed woman would do - she hops on the first plane to London to prove that all of the happy endings Jane Austen wrote about were complete and utter nonsense. Armed with the promise of a stack of long-lost Jane Austen letters, Emma sets off on a series of secret tasks from a peculiar old woman named Mrs Parrot. From London to Bath to Lyme Regis, Emma visits the locations of Jane Austen's England. Along the way, she meets up with her old friend, Adam, and begins to realise that there may just be something to those happy endings after all. This is a fun, fast read, combining fact and fiction to help the Austen enthusiast gain a little more insight into the life of one of the most beloved authors of all time. (LEK)7/10

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