Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) by Carrie Bebris

So a while back I reviewed a Jane Austen mystery, Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged).  I enjoyed  the first book, although I did solve the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading.

So while the first book focused only on Pride & Prejudice characters (and ones she made up) this one combines P&P with Sense and Sensibility.

A mashup

Sense and Sensibility actually takes place in the 1790s, twenty years before Pride and Prejudice. All the characters have been aged accordingly so they match up with the Pride and Prejudice ones. It can be a bit confusing when the characters are no longer how they were in their book.  To make it less confusing, I will give a brief reminder of the plot of Sense & Sensibility.

So the Dashwood family:

The estate of Norland belongs to Old Mr. Dashwood. When he was sick he was visited by his family and found young Henry Dashwood, John’s son, to be just so adorable that he entailed it to the men in his family. After he died Mr. Henry Dashwood, the elder, ended up dying and the estate passed over his second wife and daughters going to his son John, (which would ultimately go to his son, young Henry.)

John promised his father to help his sisters, but with an ambitious wife; that quickly ended.

John’s wife is horrible, just evil. Fanny, the demon wife, convinces John to give no money to the sisters as they really “are not his siblings”. She then rearranges the whole household and makes life unbearable for all.

John also has an incredibly bratty son, Henry:

When Fanny’s brother visits, she sees that he and Elinor like each other, but as Elinor is too poor for her soon to be wealthy brother Edward, she ends that immediately. The second Dashwood family all move from their home to renting out Barton’s Cottage, owned by Sir John Middleton, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin.

They spend a lot of time with Sir John, as he constantly invites them over so that they can eat well, as money is extremely tight. Eventually after all kinds of twists and turns, the two eldest girls marry the men of their dreams and the story ends happily. If you haven’t read it you should.

**Spoilers**

So Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Kitty are all heading to London for a “London Season” as they are husband hunting for Kitty. They are invited to Sir John’s where they meet him and his wife (sadly I think Mrs. Jennings the mother-in-law has passed on) and their now adult children. Also there is the young Mr. Henry Dashwood, who is now no longer a boy, but a young man in his twenties. He meets Kitty and immediately finds her to be a fantastic partner, good conversationalist, and all around enjoys her company.

Only one problem, he thought she was Georgiana Darcy.

The next day it seems as if all the men were only interested in Georgiana, not Kitty, as she is going to bring an extremely large dowry.

Except for Mr. Henry Dashwood. After he discovered his blunder, he still spent the night with Kitty and fell for her. That works perfectly with Kitty as she has fallen head over heels for him.

While everyone finds him agreeable, and Elizabeth definitely thinks that he will be a good match for Kitty; Mr. Darcy thinks of him as a fop and a dandy wanting Kitty with someone who has more brains.

He goes to talk to Henry, and discovers that his lack of business isn’t from him not caring, but from not being instructed on how to run an estate. It turns out that his parents sent him away to school immediately and he has spent hardly any time with family or at Norland. However, he is eager to learn and Darcy soon takes him under his wing.

Henry has won over the whole family, but soon Fanny arrives to meet Kitty.

Here I am!

Fanny does not like Kitty as she is too poor and would rather spear Georgiana with her impressive dowry. But Henry will not be deterred, as he invites them to his 21st birthday and proposes to Kitty.

Everything seems to be going well, until Henry finds an old strange mirror and a painting of his notorious great-great uncle Sir Francis Dashwood. Soon after Henry starts acting completely different-gambling nonstop, drinking, carousing with all women (married and single of every class). What could have happened to him to make him so much worse than his nefarious relation? Could he be possessed?

So what did I think? Did I like it?

No

I thought this book ran into a few problems and wasn’t as good as the first one.

1) Henry Dashwod was too likable.

So when you read Sense and Sensibility, you don’t like Henry. He is a total brat and completely annoying.

But in this book they made him tooo likable. This caused problems as that reading about his possession made it sad because you knew it wasn’t him, and this poor guy has lost everything.

Secondly, because he is so likable, you know that he isn’t the one doing all these horrible things and that something has caused him to have a personality shift. It wasn’t a real mystery, like in the first novel, as you weren’t sure if Caroline was hypnotized or going insane.

2) No Mystery

In the first book, Caroline starts acting weird after she was married. This makes us wonder is someone making her act this way like in Gaslight or is she actually going crazy?

Crazy eyes

Secondly, there are a multitude of suspects:

  1. Mr. Kendall– He could be trying to kill the Bingleys because of the money he feels that he has been cheated out of. He also could be trying to get rid of Caroline because of his daughter being thrown over. Remember, his daughter was with Caroline when her horse bolted.
  2. Mr. Hurst– If his debts are as extremely high as Elizabeth suspects, he might be trying to kill his relations off for money.
  3. Professor Randolph– Professor Randolph has been drifting from place to place as most don’t feel his studies are legitimate. Now that Caroline is crazy, he has room and board as the prime caretaker for Caroline. Maybe he is making her seem crazy, and could even be trying to make it look as if she set the fire, to only further cement Mr. Parrish’s need of him.
  4.  Mr. Parrish- He only married Caroline for her money and is trying to remove her from the picture. He is supposed to be extremely wealthy, but for some people what they have is never enough. Besides, he could be lying about how wealthy he is, or have hidden debt that they don’t know about.

In this however, we immediately know that Henry is being possessed as the writer gives it away in the beginning introduction and the back of the novel. Instead we are just waiting for events to unfold.

Yeah, I don’t like those kind of mysteries. That’s how Death Comes to Pemberley was (the book, not the TV miniseries. The miniseries is better.)

3) Hardly Any Elinor, Marianne, Colonel Brandon, or Edward In It

I’m sorry but I don’t know why they were missing so much in this novel. We LOVE this characters so if we are reading something to so with Sense and Sensibility we want to have then in the book. It was a crime to not have very much of them.

4) Supernatural Seems Like an Afterthought

This is a supernatural mystery (not Supernatural) but it takes a long time for the characters to reach that point and even evoke in anything. Professor Randolph is there for a second, and then the weirdest thing-the ever staunchly “realistic” Darcy decides to do battle with the demon mirror? I don’t know, it just seemed hastily thrown in, instead of carefully worked like in the previous book.

So we will see what the next book holds. Will it get better? Or worse?

There is one question though that this book presented that I think is worth mulling over. Who should Georgiana marry?

So I started thinking, out of all the non-attached Austen men, who would be the best match for Georgiana (yes I know the author might just make a new character like P.D. James did, but forget that lets focus on what Austen made.)? I narrowed it down to three characters who I think might work.

3) Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride & Prejudice

Pros: Known Georgiana a long time, is kind, caring, funny, amiable, etc.

Cons: Is like a brother to Georgiana, she might not be able to see past that. She might also think he is too old (which he isn’t).

For more on Colonel Fitzwilliam, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

2) James Morland from Northanger Abbey

Pros: James is a kind, compassionate, caring, and hardworking guy. He has studied constantly and will soon be taking his orders to become a minister. He is a kind older brother and has many traits, in that respect, shared with her brother. Educated, well read, etc.

Cons: Not from a wealthy family, but still does alright; naive, and like Bingley, more easily persuaded.

1) Lieutenant William Price from Mansfield Park

This is actually my top pick, I think they would be good for each other. I just see them as being a great couple, him so sweet and gentle with fragile temperaments. Georgiana needing someone who can be kind and caring.

Pros: Kind, caring, compassionate, honest, and hardworking.

Cons: While his mother came from a high class family, she married down (although that wouldn’t really matter to Georgiana.) He is in the navy a peon, but he does get a great commission through Fanny’s connection to Henry Crawford.

For more on Lt. William Price, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

For more by Carrie Bebris, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Too Pretty

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen mysteries, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

So I was reading this book, The Butterfly and the Violin.

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The story is told in two parts, connecting at the end of the novel. One half of the book is set in the 1940s and is about Adele Von Bron, concert violinist and Austria’s sweetheart, who is sent to Auschwitz when she is caught trying to help smuggle a Jewish family out of Austria. There she becomes a part of the Women’s Orchestra. She goes through all kinds of troubles, all the while doing the best she can to stay alive.

Aw, man.

Aw…

The other half is the story of Sera James, owner of an art gallery. She was left at the altar two years ago, and since then has been focusing all her energy into finding this painting of Adele, painted while she was serving her time. Sera has just hit a dead end, when she receives word from a California millionaire businessman, Will Hanover, who needs her assistance. Apparently his grandfather left the family business and estate to the owner of the painting, and so he needs to find the owner (he’s planning to contest the will). Sera and he have a rough first impression, but then start falling for each other. But is Will’s interest in Sera real or is he just romancing her to get what he wants?

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So the book wasn’t that good. The author suffered from trying to do too much with the two story lines that it caused her to fall into overdone clichés and have a lack of character development. The book was rushed too fast to reach a conclusion, and to quote Wayne’s World they made it a “super happy ending”.

I didn’t care for it and thought it would be better if it had been focused on either storyline of Adele or the search of the painting instead of stretching the author with these two pairings. Adele’s journey is told in half points with a quick summary of what happened next, and Sera’s search barely anything as the painting felt like it was instantly discovered after the two “joined” forces.

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Doesn’t work. I don’t like it.

So why am I talking about this?

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When I was reading the scene in which the two characters Sera and Will meet, it seemed oddly familiar…

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Yes Will (and don’t think I didn’t notice that connection either) is rude to Sera, insinuating that she is after his money. Just like Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, Sera becomes extremely angry with Will and storms out.

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And of course, Will tries to make it up to her, it just takes him a few tries.

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So of course the rest of the book has nothing to do with Pride & Prejudice, but it still just amazes me how Jane Austen continues to influence and inspire, even if it is something as small as a meet cute.

Here's to another 200 years!

Austen still alive in our modern times

I talked about it a little back in my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, when I celebrated its 200th birthday, but I just find it amazing. I mean what a testament to your skill, imagination, intelligence, and work that people use your characters and relationships within their own work.

And I truly mean it

And I truly mean it

I mean this is just one example but there are thousands of books and films that owe it all to Jane.

allhailqueenJaneAusten

Jane you are just so incredible that we just can’t think of anything better than what you have written. Looks like you will be sticking around for a looong time.ReadJaneAusten

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

The Austen Series: Amanda

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Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith

So this book is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in modern times Australia

Under Capricorn

I know, Australia was an odd choice for a retelling of Jane Austen. I mean most people in Austen’s time wouldn’t really like Australians as they would see them as robbers, thieves, criminals, etc.

I also had a few issues with it being Australian as I am not scholled in Australian. Sometimes they way they talked I had no idea what it was about.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But moving on…

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Amanda Wood Priebe (Emma Woodhouse) is a successful owner of a travel agency. She lives with her father and takes care of him as he is aging. Even though he doesn’t really need additional care.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

This was one of the problems I had with the book. In Emma, her father was destroyed with the death of his wife and became the biggest hypochondriac and worrywart you could ever imagine. He ages exponentially and this is why Emma want to stay and take care of him. She knows that he needs her or will fall apart, and that factors into her decision to never leave or ever marry.

Emma

In this he is confident, lucid, and perfectly al;e to take care of himself with maybe a little extra help. There is no reason why she feels the need to stay with him. In fact it is kinda weird…

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So Amanda’s best friend is her secretary Haley Schmitz (Harriet Smith). She is currently dating Roger a farmer, who Amanda feels isn’t right for her. Instead she wants to set her up with the new music minister, Mason Eldridge.

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Her other best friend is Nathan Knighton (Mr. Knightley) owner of a well to do department store. He is also the younger brother of the man that Emma’s sister married.

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So the book mostly follows the story of Emma with a few differences.  Instead of a ball, Emma throws a yearly party at her agency. You know, small things like that.

No big deal

No big deal

So let’s go over first what I liked in this adaption.

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Nate Knitghton/Mr. Knightley

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I really liked the way that Smith wrote the Mr. Knightley character.

Say What

Yes. Unlike other adaptions, she really got into his head and showed aspects of the story from his point of view. Often authors only go so far, but I enjoyed how he interacted with Amanda/Emma and the other characters, how they built up his attraction, and his qualms about having a relationship with a friend, what if she doesn’t reciprocate? What if it goes bad?

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Haley/Harriet

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The Harriet character was also done well. Giving her a background of foster care and being moved from place to place established the perfect level of insecurity to blindly follow all Amanda’s plans with matchmaking.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

I also like how you see her love for Roger has a few insecurities with him going away and focusing on the business, coupled with her own insecurities and Emma’s manipulations; all creating the perfect breeding ground for her to be swayed to another. But at the same time we see how she is able to quickly move past that heartbreak of Mr. Elton (as she didn’t really like him), and return to her real love of Roger.

HIMYM TedLove you and not tolerate quirks

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Now what I didn’t like:

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Colonel Wood Priebe/Mr. Woodhouse

I already talked about the Mr. Woodhouse-Emma relationship, so let me move on.

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Christian but Not Really

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Another thing I didn’t like about this book was that it marketed itself as Christian but isn’t really.

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In reality the the praying or  when they talk about their “relationship” with God is just a footnote or an afterthought.

Blah, blah

I mean write if you want to write a non-Christian retelling of Emma then write it. If you want it to be Christian then write that. Just don’t give me this lukewarm mess that is “Christian” but only a smatter. I mean go big or not at all, no in between.

No thank youhowaboutno

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 Amanda/Emma

Emma

So to our final piece, the one that carries it all…how did she do?

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I did not like the character of Amanda.

Something is not right!

Mostly because Emma just didn’t work in this modern setting.

No thank youhowaboutno

In Jane Austen’s work, Emma is from a wealthy class and doesn’t really have any friends her equal to spend her time with; especially with her sister and governess married. She is extremely lonely and bored.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

She begins manipulating, not out of spite, but because it is far interesting than another night alone with her dad, reading, just doing the same old thing. It doesn’t fit with Amanda having this other outlet, as she is great at her job and her work is something she loves. Australia is not as constrained by “social standing” so there isn’t the same level of alienation either. Instead of being bored and turning to matchmaking, she just comes off a controlling manipulator who only cares about herself.

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It just didn’t work; instead of the character being lovable or enjoyable she just seemed cold and cruel. A real “Mean Girl”, if you know what I mean.

MeanGirls I know right!

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So in conclusion? I didn’t like it.

dislike hate you

I mean some parts were good like Harriet and Mr. Knightley’s modern counterparts, but on a whole the book was kinda boring and just didn’t work without a fantastic main character, Emma/Amanda.

No thank youhowaboutno

If I were you, I would just pass this one by.

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For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Emmago to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

For more Emma variations, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more on bible verses, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

There is No Enjoyment Like Free Things

free stuff

How many of you out there like free things?

ME!!!!!

ME!!!!!

I know I do. So that is why I am doing a giveaway.

Double double yay

Now my first giveaway didn’t go so well, no one entered. So this time I am doing it through rafflecopter. In this giveaway you can win a copy of the book Death Comes to Pemberley, a hand decorated mug with an Austen quote, and an Austen inspired hair clip.

Wow

Wow

You should all follow my link below to enter!

morethemerrier

Go Here to Enter!

oddsinyourfavor

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The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

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The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen by Beth Pattillo

So when I saw that this was by Beth Pattillo, I was like…

Her again!

Her again!

For those of you who don’t know, my review of Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart did not go well…

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I did not like that book at all. I thought it was absolutely horrible, a complete waste of my time. (If you want to read it, follow this link). So needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be reading another one of her books.

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But did I hate this book? Keep reading to find out!

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*Contains Spoilers*

Ellen (Elinor) and Mimi (Marianne) Douglas (Dashwood) have never been close or gotten along with each other. Ellen is the no-nonsense, sensible, wears comfortable clothes sister:

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Mimi on the other hand is the dreamer, outgoing, friendly, doesn’t always think things through, and a fashionista.

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The book is split between the two as narrators and I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing into both sisters heads.

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So the sisters are going on a walking tour of Hampshire, England to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen.

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I know awesome sounding right? Well not for these two as not only do they not get along, they also don’t really like Jane Austen.

OMG gasp

Their mother recently died from cancer and her will stated that they had to go on the tour together and release her ashes in “the most appropriate place” or else they get nothing.

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The girls agree for sentiment and inheritance.

So of course Ellen the “sensible one” brought the right clothing and shoes for their hike, making sure she packed simply and lightly. Mimi on the other hand is a regular clotheshorse and not only has too much to carry but didn’t bring the right things for the hike, looking good but not dressing appropriately.

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They arrive at the hotel they will be staying at and meet the tall, good-looking, fifty-something, retired air force pilot, Tom Braddock (Colonel Brandon).

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After he retired from the air force, he moved to England and does Austen tours as a sideline business.

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Mimi really came on the tour for money more than sentiment. She knows that Ellen and her have a very slim chance of bonding and she really needs the money to achieve her dream; having a boutique in New York. Tom seems very nice, returning her left behind bag, but too old and serious. Besides Mimi can’t be focusing on guys, she needs to keep her eyes on the prize.

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So as Ellen unpacks, she pulls out a package that was sent to her by her mother. The lawyer told her that she had to bring it on the trip and she and Mimi have the task of “deciding what to do with it” after arriving in England.

Ellen decides to get some fresh air when she runs into the person she least expects, her old crush from college, Daniel. Nothing ever happened as he had a fiancé and Ellen wasn’t the type of girl to try and break something like that up. Now however, Daniel is a antique dealer, and a single one at that.

Edward-Ferrars-mr-edward-ferrarsSense&Sensibility

Ellen tells Daniel why she is in “Jane Austen land”, even though she is not a fan of the books. Daniel reveals that her mom actually arranged for him to come too. Ellen decides to open the package and discovers a book. And not just any book:

Private Property of Miss Cassandra Austen.

Do Not Read.

This Means You, Jane.

Wow

Wow

So Mimi arrives early to the meet and greet the other walkers, and finds out who she will be spending the next days with. There is a couple from Nashville, a couple from Nebraska, a television producer from New York, Karen; a retired lawyer from L.A., Charlotte; a few others but most importantly the gorgeous and richly dressed, British, Ethan Blackmore (Willoughby).

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Mimi is excited and hoping to bag the guy, her own Austen-esque hero.

Daniel wants to take a closer look at the diary, but Ellen stops him. She wants to wait and of course talk to Mimi about it.

She hurriedly gets ready and runs down, looking for Mimi who tells her about Ethan. Before Ellen can meet him, they are interrupted by Mrs. Parrot, the lecturer on the tour. She asks them a lot of questions, and the already paranoid Ellen starts wondering of she knows about the diary they own.

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Mimi tries to throw Daniel and Ellen together, but Ellen doesn’t want to think on that, thwarting her plans.

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After dinner, Ellen tells Mimi about the book and her fears that Mrs. Parrot knows about it all.

I'm scared!

I’m scared!

The two start reading the diary:

The first part of the diary is Cassandra warning Jane about showing her feelings. Cassandra is very much like Elinor/Ellen and Jane sounds like Marianne/Mimi. Cassandra hopes to marry Tom Fowle and worries over Jane’s crush on Jack (who he is I don’t know.)

The next day is the beginning of the hike, and after Ellen hides the book she joins the others. Ellen is thrilled yet uneasy seeing Daniel after all these years. It turns out that her old feelings are resurfacing.

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They spend the hike talking about their lives, death of relationships, and Daniel’s two kids.

Mimi in the other hand is trying as hard as she can to keep up with Ethan. It doesn’t help that she is wearing the wrong shoes and her feet are killing her.

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They talk with Mimi sharing, but Ethan revealing very little about him. *Warning Sign!*

Back away Mimi, far away!

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

As the reach the church on their hike, Mimi stops to rest and demeans herself. Why didn’t she take the time to break in her boots. Why didn’t she take the time to see her mom? Because she was afraid.

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Tom comes to see her and check on her and the two have a lovely conversation.

Stay Mimi, stay!

see cute guy look

She also discovers from Tom that their is a huge market for Jane Austen memorabilia (no duh) and LOTS of money can be made.

Mimi thinks this is great as selling the diary will help her achieve her dreams.

money money money

As Mimi continues walking with Ethan he points out his house. House to him, but “mansion” to us in the states. Mimi is floored by it. Ethan invites her over for a “private tour” and Mimi accepts.

No Mimi, no!

Run Away

That night when they stop at a pub to eat, Tom comes over to Ellen to talk to her about Mimi. He is worried about her feet, as she is going to have some serious problems with them. Tom also warns Ellen that Ethan is no good, she better watch her sister.

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They spend the time talking with Ellen telling Tom about why they are on the tour and her mother’s attempt at matchmaking from the grave.  Tom encourages her to not be afraid and try with Daniel if she still has feelings for him.

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Afterwards the sisters have a real heart to heart. Ellen shares her frustrations at having to care for mom on her own, while Mimi shares her fears to come and see her. Then they talk about Daniel and Ethan.

“Maybe we are more alike than we think,” Mimi said.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re afraid to show your feelings to the man you love, and I’m afraid of what will happen if I can’t hide mine.”

Ellen talks to Mrs. Parrot at their next stop and asks questions about the Austen sisters. She also finds out that there are rumors of Cassandra’s and Jane’s diaries, but no truth in whether they actually exist. It is something that many people have been after to discover.

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Later, Ellen goes to get a drink sand overhears Mrs. Parrot talking to someone about her. Creepy!

Gilmore girls creep

Before she can hear any more, Mimi comes up and announces her presence.

After a dinner of flirting by Ethan (gag) Mimi joins him to visit his house. He mentions his Austen heirlooms, and Mimi shares that she has Cassandra’s diary.

OMG gasp

No Mimi Why! Why! Why would you do that? You don’t know anything about this guy! How can you trust him with such a secret?

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Ethan isn’t that “interested” in the diary, yeah right, and they continue looking at the house. They spend the rest of the night “kissing”…

Mmhm great gatsby

Ellen meanwhile spends a restless night worried about Mimi, Daniel, and Mrs. Parrot. She decides to read more:

Cassandra talks more about how she wishes Jane would listen and know that Jack Smith is no good. She has tried to get her father to send Jane away, but he won’t. She decides that she will have to do something. Also the words along, the, narrow, way, it, goes are all underlined.

Interesting

Interesting

The next morning, Mimi does not come down for breakfast. Ethan does and talks to Ellen sharing that Mimi has told him everything, including her dreams for a store. Ellen has no idea that Mimi shared the information with Ethan, and lets him know that their mother in no heiress and Mimi will receive only a small pittance.

clueless mybad oops

Later when Mimi is hiking with Ethan he acts cool toward her, confusing her. Later Ellen gives her a talking to and the two fight over whether it is all Mimi or a consensual interest.

Afterwards, Ellen spends some more time with Daniel.

Mimi is fed up with Ellen’s moods and the way Ethan switches frim hot to cold. So she ends up spending her time with Tom.

ColonelBrandon

They have a fun chat with Tom telling her all kinds of stories about his military life. And Tom kisses her!

swoon dreamy

But Mimi tells him she just wants to be friends.

really?

Really?

That night Ellen has plans to picnic with Daniel. In truely awesome sister mode, Mimi gives Ellen a slight makeover, enhancing her beauty.

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They spend the whole time talking, sharing feelings, and kissing.

That night Mimi and Ellen meet up. Mimi wants to talk about Ellen’s date, but Ellen reads more of the diary.

Cassandra goes on how Jack and Tom Lefroy are both a bad idea but Jane won’t listen to her. Then she talks about the new fashion of fruit on the bonnets, and the death of her fiancé. The words underlined in this passage are couples, crowded, to dance, in time, a flower, thus, may, last, for, years, a, wine, must, age, to be, sublime, but, first, the, grapes, must, run, quite, and clear.

They stop and look at the underlined words, thinking that they might be a code. When they write them all out it comes the following:

Along the narrow way it goes

From house to house and back again

A carpet for a traveler’s woes

That always brings one home again.

Hmm...

Hmm…

What happened to grapes? And wine?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Ellen hides the journal, and when Mimi sees this she stars to feel bad about telling Ethan. She was about to say something, but chickens out and goes to her room instead.

The next morning after breakfast, they read more of the journal to see if there is more secret code.

Hogg, I mean Higg- I mean Harries Bigg-Wither wants to marry Jane but she is not interested. Jane is also rewriting Sense & Sensiblity, as her recent times with Mr. Bigg-Wither has given her ideas (? not sure what). They find more underlining and this is what it makes.

A gentlemen learns from an early age

To play his part upon the stage

His lines are crisp, his speech is clear

He studies most from year to year.

Couples crowd to dance in time

A flower thus may last for years

A wine must age to be sublime

But first the grapes must run quite clear

Tailor, draper, seamstress all

Needles, thread and trimmings

Fashion, fir or rough or small

With trunks and boxes brimming

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

 The girls decide to take a break from their detective work as they have the hike to go on. They hide the diary and head out.

Ethan approaches Mimi about seeing the diary. Mimi doesn’t want to, but figures that if she doesn’t Ethan is saying see ya.

No Mimi, no! You need someone to value you not what you have.

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Tom also approaches Mimi and tells her that she can trust him. When he leaves she is approached by Ethan who manipulates her into thinking the can have a relationship if only he gets to see the book.

Never Settle

The next day Ethan leaves, and Mimi is devastated, She feels guilty about telling him about the journal and her feet are in excruciating pain. Tom tries to help her but Mimi has decided she wants to do it all on her own, show everyone.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

That day when Ellen goes into her room the diary is gone!

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She confronts Mrs. Parrot but doesn’t get a straight answer if she is involved.

Interesting

Suspicious

Mimi on the other hand has spent even more time with Tom and is starting to fall for him.

Col.Brandon

Mimi and Ellen try to figure out the code but start sharing other things. Mimi says she is sorry that she made a fool of herself over Ethan. Ellen admits to the diary being stolen. When Mim is about to fully confess about Ethan they are interrupted by Mrs. Parrot.

Tom tells Mimi that Ethan is a womanizer and looking for a rich wife to take care of him and his house. Mimi is mad that Tom didn’t say anything earlier but acquiesce that she probably wouldn’t have believed him.

They meet with Mrs. Parrot and find out that she and their mother were part of a secret Austen group, the Formidables. Their mother took the diary when she left the country. They also learn that the diary is part if a set.

StarTrekFascinatingSpockinteresting

Ellen thinks Daniel stole the diary and confronts him, but Mimi isn’t so sure.

I don't think so.

I don’t think so.

At the last dinner it turns out that Mimi and Ellen’s mother planned the entire trip. Tom also tells Mimi how much he cares for her and Mimi thinks of moving to England.

How romantic

How romantic

Mimi finally ponys up about Ethan and Ellen is furious. But she forgives her and the two agree to a new start.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

They approach Mrs. Parrot and tell her about the clues. They figure out that the diary is in a cabinet, one that Mimi saw in Ethan’s house.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They trick him with Daniel distracting, while the girls find the Jane diary, blackmailing the Cassandra one out of him as well.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

They release their mother’s ashes and Mrs Parrot reveals that she is actually their aunt.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

They give the diaries to Mrs. Parrot and then Ellen returns home to start anew with Daniel, while Mimi decides to stay in England.

See you soon!

See you soon!

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So what do I think of this book?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Well, I actually really enjoyed it.

Whattheheck

I know, I was surprised too. I thought that Patillo presented the story of the Dashwoods well, along with the sister relationship; staying out of the cliché pitfalls that most novelist fall into.

And this was a great one.

And this was a great one.

The only problem I had with this was that I thought it was a bit odd that Mimi and Tom fall in love in a week but other than that I loved every part of it.

Five Stars! 🙂

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For more of Beth Patillo’s works, go to Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Cecelia Gray, go to An Awesome Author

You’re My Exception: He’s Just NOT That Into You (2009)

Most Romantic Moment #2

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He’s Just NOT That Into You (2009)

I first saw this movie on recommendation from my mother who had seen it in theaters with some friends. And I LOVED it! My favorite thing about it was that you had all these different characters that were all connected to each other in some way. Just like a Jane Austen book, although much more complicated.

relationship tree

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So as you can tell from my diagram, this movie can be a bit messy just plotting it out on paper, but I will do my best.

Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) is searching for a soulmate, her perfect match. She goes on a date with Conner, her friend Janine’s realtor but after that blind date he never calls. Not one to give up on what could be “the one”, she goes to Connor’s best friend’s restaurant in hopes that she can find him. Instead she runs into Connor’s best friend, Alex (Justin Long). The two become friends, with Alex giving her advice on guys and promising to set her up with someone. However, all the time they spend together causes Gigi to start falling for him and believing her cares for her too. Is she right? Or will she just mess up her friendship?

GuyAdmitsFeelingsNotGoodAtThisKindofThing

Janine (Jennifer Connelly) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) dated all through college, marrying after graduation. They’ve been the perfect couple, having just bought a house, one that Janine has been actively redecorating and renovating. But not all is going well in their household. While Janine wants a baby, Ben doesn’t even want to be married, starting an affair with singer/yoga instructor Anna (Scarlett Johansson). While Ben is out all the time, Janine starts wondering if Ben is being completely truthful to her. Will they power through this or fall apart?

wrongteachyaright

At first Ben tries to stay away from Anna, but they become friends, developing into an affair, both emotional and physical. Anna at first doesn’t mind being the other women, but when she is frustrated or in need of an ego boost; she heads over to her boy toy and doormat, Connor (Kevin Connolly). Connor is a sweet guy who has been in love with Anna and is willing to take anything he can get to be with her. But when he pushes for more, will he gain a real girlfriend or lose her?

Mr.TorntonNorth&South

Neil (Ben Affleck) and Beth (Jennifer Aniston) have been dating/living together for seven years. Beth wants to be married but Neil doesn’t believe in it. Beth has never tried to push it, but just hoped that Neil would change his mind and propose, but every year she is disappointed. After hearing the advice Alex gave Gigi, Beth comes to realize that Neil will never marry her. She gives him an ultimatum and when Neil still doesn’t propose, she ends the relationship. Will she be able to move on? Or has she ended a relationship with her soulmate?

broken-heart-self-Control

Mary (Drew Barrymore) is like Gigi and looking for love; except she went the online dating route. Through social media, dating sites, and more; Mary searches but finds herself constantly disappointed. What’s a girl looking for an old-fashioned romance going to do in this 21st century way of electronic dating?

oldfashionedLove

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Most Romantic Moment: You Are My Exception

*Spoilers*

So anyway, what I find to be the most romantic moment is in the Gigi and Alex storyline. Gigi, as I have said before, is a little boy-crazy and has had many bad relationships. In her chance meeting of Alex he gives her some stone cold advice. If he isn’t marrying you, he won’t marry you. If he isn’t calling, he won’t call. If he goes out of town and doesn’t call, end it he doesn’t care about you as he can always call. You can pretty much summarize it up in this one key sentence:

Alex: So trust me when I say if a guy is treating you like he doesn’t give a s***, he genuinely doesn’t give a s***. No exceptions.

stoppressingrewindmoveon

So Gigi continues to ask him for advice, they become friends, and then Gigi falls for him hard. She believes he likes her too, but when she makes a move Alex turns her down fast. Gigi is made but lectures him about how she makes mistakes but believes in love and will keep trying to find her “perfect match”.

believehappyending

So, the most romantic part is at the end. Gigi has just gotten back from her blind date that Alex set her on when there is a knock at the door. To her surprise it is Alex!

OMG gasp

Alex has been destroyed since her turned Gigi down. He can’t sleep, eat, his focus is off. He realized the mistake he made and came to tell Gigi how he feels.

Gigi: [opens the door, thinking it’s Bill] Did you forget something?

Alex: Yeah…

Gigi: Really? What did you forget?

Alex: [pulls out a promotional pen from his pocket] This.

Gigi: So you came all the way here at 11 o’ clock in the night to give me a promotional pen?

Alex: Yeah… Yeah, I did. I thought I would come up with some really great excuse to get over here. That’s how it’s done, right?

Gigi: [smiles] Sometimes.

Alex: Look, I can’t stop thinking about you. I… It’s a problem. I drive by your place; I call and hang up; I’ve turned into…

Gigi: Me.

Alex: Yeah.

Gigi: A wise person once told me that if a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen, no matter what.

Alex: That’s true.

Gigi: But when I was hurling my body onto yours, you did not seem to want to make it happen.

Alex: Okay, yeah, here’s the thing about that… You were right. I’d gotten so used to keeping myself at a safe distance from all these women and having the power that, that I didn’t know what it felt like when I actually fell for one of them… I didn’t know.

Gigi: Look, I just went out with your friend Bill. He might be just exactly what I need. No drama, he calls; he does what he says…

Alex: [stepping closer] I can do that stuff too…

Gigi: But you didn’t! And that same wise person told me that I’m the rule. That I have to stop thinking that every guy will change, that I have to stop thinking that…

Gigi: [Alex kisses her, she smiles]… I’m the exception…

Alex: [whispers] You are *my* exception.

[they kiss again]

Awwww! That moment is so romantic.

How romantic

How romantic

The fact that he listened to her to do his approach the same way that Gigi did it earlier when she was trying to meet up with Connor. The fact that he was willing to share how he feels with her! And that he told her You’re My Exception, after telling her she wasn’t an exception she was a rule. To reenforce that she is special, ah, just unbelievably perfectly sweet.

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This part became doubly romantic when I found out that it was a true story. I couldn’t believe it! 😀 This last spring I found the book He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, when I was stacking books at the library. The book was written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and is really good. Anyone who has been in or will be in a relationship in the future should read it.

The character Alex was based on Greg; especially the story of the exception. It was so sweet reading about how when he met his wife everything changed, he changed.

better man

That she was his exception! An Aww Moment!

How romantic

How romantic

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

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For more on Ginnfer Goodwin, go to Fantom of the Opera

For more on Justin Long, go to Every Twenty-Third Spring for Twenty Three Days, it Gets to Eat: Jeepers Creepers (2001)

For more films based on a book, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness: The Phantom of the Opera (1925)