Incense and Sensibility

Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev

I thought what better way to commemorate or commiserate (depending on your point of view) the California Governor Recall Election than with a book that is about a California Gubernatorial Election.

Incense and Sensibility is the third book in the Raje series. The first, Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I really enjoyed that book. It had biracial characters, it kept to the story while at the same time allowing the author to tell “her” story, and it had wonderful descriptions of food (depicting the tradition, love, and culture weaved into the making of it.

The second book, Recipe for Persuasion, is based on Persuasion. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous one. I liked the diversity of the characters, but I didn’t feel as connected to the people.

I had seen on Instagram that the third was going to be published soon and as soon as it was added to the library I immediately checked it out.

This book is based on Sense and Sensibility, and focuses on Trisha Raje’s brother (mentioned in both previous books) and a new character, India Dashwood. In the previous books we were given some information about Yash; he is the eldest brother of the Raje family and was in a horrible accident that caused him to lose his ability to walk. Originally told that he would spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair, he proved all wrong and was able to walk again.

However, even though this is a miracle he still felt very insecure and has never let anyone look upon his naked body and see his scars. His dream was to always go into politics, but again he faced another hurdle. At the bequest of his sister Trisha, he offered a job to her best friend Julia Wickham. Julia Wickham turned out to be a truly horrible person, (of which there are no words to describe how horrible); who used his generosity to grow close to him, drug him, rape him, and then blackmail him (as she was underage), and the Raje family. Yash never properly dealt with that trauma, but become not only more suspicious and closed off from others, but all thoughts of a relationship with a woman was pretty much gone forever as the experience left him with severe trauma.

Such a sad and traumatic story [image from The Wolf Man (1941)]

At his sister, Nisha’s, wedding he met his cousin’s friend India Dashwood. He and India had a wonderful evening together, Yash allowing a new person into his life, and made plans to get together when he returned from an already scheduled trip. But when he arrived in Singapore for a wedding, he was convinced to pretend to be engaged to his best friend, Naina Knightley. Naina convinced him it would help them both as her parents do not see Indian women as having any other role than married and she will be able to continue her dream of running her own nonprofit. For Yash he can have someone to be by his side for important events and not have to worry about people focusing on his sexuality over his political agenda. (This makes me think of Kevin Kikey, someone running for governor of California who is single. Everyone is trying to figure out if he is gay, asexual, is involved with a married person, or just hasn’t found his dream mate.)

Hmm…

Even though this trade off helped his friend (and him), while Yash was okay with it in the beginning-it has been grating on him. But Yash is a professional and sets all that aside as he prepares for a new speech given at a rally. As he goes on stage to begin his speech, a shot rings out. Yash’s bodyguard Abdul takes the brunt of it and is put in ICU while Yash is grazed and has a concussion.

When he has recuperated enough to be released he find himself, for the first time in a very very long time, at a loss of what to do. He doesn’t feel anything, every time he tries to give a speech he has a panic attack, he is angry and guilty that his bodyguard is lying in a coma, he wants nothing to do with the farce of a fiancée, and he doesn’t even want to be governor. His family is worried about him, and as Ashna has suffered from panic attacks in the past (previous book), she encourages him to see India Dashwood, her friend and yogi-the last woman he ever thought he would see again.

That’s not good.

India Dashwood’s family came to America, and the Bay Area, to start a barbershop. India’s great-grandparents hired an Indian immigrant, Ram, to be an assistant who also taught them Yoga. What none planned was for their daughter, India’s grandmother, to fall in love and become pregnant. Ram was fifteen years older and left town due to fear of what would happen to him, and India’s grandmother raised her daughter, Tara, changing their business from barber shop to yoga studio. When Tara was old enough she went abroad to search for her father, but was unable to find him. Instead she returned home with a baby she adopted, continuing that two more times. Her son Siddhartha is from India, her daughter India from Thailand, and her other daughter China from Kenya. All the children had cleft palates, but she didn’t care and adopted them anyway.

Out of the children, only India was the one to carry on the family’s traditions of the Yoga studio as her sister China is a TV producer and their brother a photojournalist. The family is in a bit of a financial strain as India used what money they had saved to do some much needed renovations, and now her mother has grown seriously ill. So when Yash comes back into her life after dropping her all those years ago, she would like to reject him and hurt him (a bit like how he hurt her), but instead agrees to help him, not just for the money, but to help him through his trauma. Will these two find a way to maneuver through the trauma, overcome hurt feelings, get through youthful decisions made for the wrong reasons, stalking paparazzi, and become something more?

Hmmm…

Meanwhile, China Dashwood has everything coming up roses. Her cooking show is going great and she is dating KDrama star, Song Ji Woo. True, she doesn’t like having to keep it hidden, but understands that Song can’t reveal her homosexuality as it would end her career. The two spend all their time in hotel rooms, at China’s apartment, or China’s mother’s house. China encounters Yash’s new body guard, former marine Brandy and tbe two do not get off on the right foot when Brandy fails to let China inside the building. The two have a bit of a better relationship after China meets Brandy’s daughter. Brandy and her best friend were heading toward one direction, but her friend ended up marrying an abusive man. When her husband murdered her, Brandy was given legal custody of their daughter and adopted her and raised her as her own. When Song has to return to Korea, China decides to give up her life in America and follow her to Korea. Tara, India, and Brandy try to caution her and convince her to wait and see-but China won’t be dissuaded. Will she get her heart broken ? Or have her happily ever after?

Hmm…

So as always I like to start with what I didn’t like and then move onto what I did like about the book.

First of all I don’t enjoy the political part of this book, as I read to escape. I understand that the author has a particular story she wants to tell and there are opinions she wants to express and share with her readers-I have no issue with it. Just for me, I like to read to escape the world we are in and this book had too much real world for me personally. Especially as I happened to read this book when a real election was going on.

I also find the absence of Latino people from this book to be really odd. Yash started going over with Rico the different political groups on his side and it seems strange to me that Yash discuses the African American vote and working with thE BLM, but there is no mention of a Latino vote, even when they discuss immigration. Not only am I Mexican, but I was born in California, grew up here, lived in the area the books take place and the more and more I think about it, the absence of Latino people in this book is extremely weird. I mean if she decided not to make a Latino a main character, fine it’s your choice and your story, but Yash is running for governor of California and there is no mention at all of the Latino vote or a Hispanic alliance group? It seems strange that both Nisha and Rico who are supposed to be extreme experts have decided to ignore the largest non-white racial demographic in California, especially as his only rival is white and anti-immigration. It seems to me that the smart thing would be to use that to show why the Latinos should vote for Yash.

I also think it is odd that the issue the book and Yash focus on are health care, it is partly what pushes him back into running for governor after his near death experience. I know that is an important issue, but is that the number one Californians are facing? I’m surprised that Yash doesn’t focus on any of the huge CA issues that those running for Governor usually go over (I mean I know because not only have we been going through the recall election but also I remember when governor Newsome was running a few years ago.) One of our biggest issues are water rights and farming rights, something that has carried over every with drought concerns get worse and worse, yet Yash doesn’t even focus on this or talk about it. Nor does he focus on the wildfire crisis even though the deadliest fire was in 2018 in Butte County (Camp Fire) and the biggest CA wildfire was the August fire in 2020. But even if the book was going through revisions there was the Mendencino fire in 2018. And then what about homelessness? We have one of the highest homelessness levels in the nation. I know health care is important, but again it seems strange to me that it was the only issue he seems focused on besides immigration.

I also felt that Song wasn’t really a a very good Willoughby. Willoughby used a woman, got her pregnant, and left her! Then he romanced Marianne only to leave her with no explanation when his aunt threatened to cut off his inheritance, and he decided he needed a woman with money. Song on the other hand is in a harsh reality of the fact that she has no choice in her life. KPop and KDrama stars are owned by their companies and have to be single as their boyfriends and girlfriends are their fans. If they start dating someone they are dropped as the fans don’t want them, and they lose everything. I mean it is CRAZY how obsessive their fans are and how they treat them. If they found out she was in a relationship, her life and career would be over. One woman got married without approval of her agency and she was dropped, blacklisted, and the only way she could make music was her husband had to buy a company. When fans found out that this one KDrama star had a girlfriend and she was pregnant, he was dropped by the fans and his agency. He and his girlfriend got married and I believe it has been five years and he is just barely being allowed to act again. Not to mention that Korea is super conservative and if people found out she was a lesbian that would be even worse for her. So while she doesn’t treat China as nice as she should, Korea is very different from America. And unlike Willoughby, Song is providing for her family. She’s providing money for them and they probably still have debts to the company they belong to that she still needs to pay. Willoughby was a jerk that thought only of himself, while Song is in a completely different situation. For me I would have made Song an American or British actor, or have had her made the crossover into American film and TV (beyond a cooking show), as I feel that the way she treats China and her wanting to keep them hidden would have been more a clue to Song’s behavior rather than her complete lack of control over her relationships.

From True Beauty. They are discussing a KPop idol

So what did I like? First of all, I thought the story line and the characters were more engaging than the previous one in the fact that the plot propelled forward and made me want to read more. I also felt that there was conflict and more on the line for every character’s decision.

I like the multicultural/multiethnic families A LOT! As someone growing up biracial, there was hardly anything out there for me, so I love that we have that in here.

I also like that the Marianne character in this isn’t just a flighty, silly, unintelligent girl. So often authors get the spirit of Marianne wrong and make her just all froth and no substance.

I liked that in this China (Marianne) was passionate and gave everything all of her, no holding back, but that she was also intelligent and a hard worker (not a bubble head like they usually write her). I thought that Dev making her a workaholic really did well for the character as I could see someone who is so passionate about their job to be just as passionate in everything else they care for, such as a new relationship. But while I enjoyed those parts of her character I didn’t care for the romance with Brandy. China barely interacts with Brandy, actually spending more time with Brandy’s daughter (who ends up working at the Yoga studio). She is pretty much just rude to Brandy when she is around her, moves to another country to be with Song, it doesn’t work out, she returns home, and then she and Brandy watch a few movies and are now a couple in love? It felt extremely fast as they hardly shared any scenes or time together in the book. At least in Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Colonel Brandon spent time together. I think she should have fleshed that out more as the book only takes place in like two months. It really felt like Brandy was just a rebound instead of a “love” as she just returned home like a week ago “being fully committed” to Song and now she’s with someone else?

I also really, really liked how she wrote Yash. The trauma he encountered was horrendous, and the way he closed himself off to people-choosing the easy way out of love and relationships by agreeing to this fake relationship, made perfect sense for his character. I’m not a big fan of Edward Ferrars, but I did enjoy this Yash version of him. Dev dealt with this subject extremely well, although I still think he should have continued his therapeutic help, and it should be with someone he’s not having a relationship with. I understand the security issue of it as they didn’t want the media getting wind but him having India help him fix everything in a couple months and then he ending up with his “therapist”, rubs me wrong. I just think it isn’t a good foundation for a romance, and it feels unethical as well. I also am not a fan of the one night together and then years later, just a couple months and they are “in love”. I prefer my romances to happen over a period time, so that wasn’t for me.

I also enjoyed the character of Tara as I thought she was extremely interesting and I wish we had a little more of her. Growing up biracial, trekking across Asia to find her father, adopting children from across the globe, her strange illness/healing stories, etc. She was the right amount of unusual and relatable. She also was a more active mother than the original Mrs. Dashwood, yet recognized that her children needed to make their own decisions and mistakes.

I enjoyed this book more than the second one, but I still liked the first one best of all.

The one thing that really confused me about this book was that Yash’s fake ex-fiancé is Naina Knightley, so I’m assuming that the book Emma is next on the adaptions schedule, but Naina’s actions don’t seem anything like Mr. Knightley at all. I mean she is manipulative, takes advantage of Yash, and exhibits truly horrible abusive behavior as she tries to force him to stay with her. I’m not excited at all for the next one if it features her.

For more Persuasion, go to Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious (2015)

For more Persuasion adaptions, go to Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more on The Rajes, go to Recipe for Persuasion

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to I Was Asked to Be a Guest on the Podcast P.S. I Love Rom Coms + My Review of their Bridget Jones’ Diary Episode

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 12, In Sickness and In Health

So it has been almost a year since I last reviewed one of these chapters from the Choices videogame. Originally I was just playing the game but as I could do that faster than I could review, I ended up deciding to not play another chapter until I finished reviewing what I already had played. Of course things came up and I got distracted by other things on my list to write/review/etc-so now I am getting to Chapter 12 of Book 1, while I think Pixelberry has already created book three or four of this video game.

Anyway, quick backstory since it has been so long. This game is storybook based where you have a story that progresses, but at times you get to make a choice as to what to do, say, who to fall in love with, etc. Some choices require you to spend diamonds to play, which you can earn every time you play a chapter or purchase from their store. Some “books” have different side quests, like in this one you want to become an accomplished woman and certain choices allow you to gain items.

It’s really fun as you have the power to decide what path the story takes.

This game is set in the Regency time period, and of course is catered toward Jane Austen fans. In this game you are the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Edgewater, something you discovered on your mother’s deathbed. You met your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.

You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, Mr. Marcastle, who has a dim fiancé, Miss Sutton. They are all plotting against you.

And a lot has happened since the beginning of the book: you have held a garden party (which you rocked), you are currently having a London season, you go to Mr. Sinclaire’s house (a suitor I am all about)-who has a sad Rebeccaesque backstory and he gifts you a book, you visited the Opera St. James where your mother used to preform, went to see an Opera and were stuck with the Duke who is a horrible jerk, took a walk in the rain with Mr. Sinclaire, learned to paint, helped your friend refuse a gross geezer, and have just learned that your father has fallen ill, found out the truth about Mr. Sinclaire’s wife and the Duke, and are trying to reach your father in time before his last breath.

Whew! That’s a lot. Now onto the next chapter!

So this chapter’s title In Sickness and In Health, and reading that just reaffirmed for me thah my father did going to die.

So I had an option earlier in the game to buy a horse and I did. Sometimes these purchases turn out to be a waste as then they never resurface in the game, but I’m glad I did as I am using her to race to my dad. It did turn out to be a useful purchase.

So Mr. Harper and I race to my father’s home as quickly as we can. There is an option for you to stop and rest with Mr. Harper and hear him tell a story-and if Mr. Harper is the romantic route you want to take, if you do so it will bring you closer together. But as for me, not only did I not want to wait I also was low on diamonds, and didn’t want to spend what little I had in case something came up in later on in the chapter. The previous chapter turned out to be really expensive.

So I make it to the house and who should stand in my way? My wicked stepmother.

She won’t let me see my dying father and claims that she will find a way to keep me from my inheritance, as she believes she should have it over me. From a historical side I do feel bad for her as women had very little rights but in this game she is a horrible witch so I don’t feel bad if she will loses everything.

Sucks to be you

While tbe Countess may think she has outwitted me, I outmaneuver her and go upstairs where I run into the Bishop Monroe, a new character who allows me to visit with my father. I go to my father and there I discover the big twist. I am not illegitimate, but my father and mother were married!

Never mind, it turns out I am illegitimate as my mother and father were forced into an annulment just before I was born.

Wait, what? That doesn’t sound right to me but let’s see how the game plays out and then I’ll do the research later.

Hmm…

So it turns out that my grandfather didn’t want my parents together and forced the annulment. My father shared that he wrote letters to my mother and I let him know that I saw them as it turned out she saved them and I had the opportunity to read them in the previous chapter (which I did).

Only a few people knew about the marriage, but I’m thinking there must be some documentation that will help strengthen my claim.

My father tells me he wanted to tell me more but thought it would be too confusing and kept it to himself. He wants to share his story with me and you have the option to pay to play as him and find out the truth. I declined as I had no money and didn’t want to spend anymore on this game.

My father warns me that my claim will be weak without a strong man to back me. He wants me to get with the Duke but after the last chapter, NO WAY!

I do share that I am interested in someone, and let him know that someone is Mr. Sinclair.

I can’t resist, Mr. Sinclaire is just too much like a mix between Mr. Darcy and Maxim de Winter from Rebecca. He’s unlocked the Laurence Olivier achievement.

My father approves as he has always been close to the Sinclaires. He gives me my mother’s ring and a copy of his Will so that it can strengthen my claim.

My father asks me to share my childhood stories with him and I do to comfort him and relieve his guilt. I stay by his side until his last breath.

I know that this isn’t real, but it seriously touched my heart when I read that scene. Poor Earl of Edgewater.

That’s the sad end of this chapter, in the next one we will have to deal with my father’s funeral. I’m sure there will be plenty of intrigue and conflict.

Funeral scene from The Wolfman (2010)

For more Desire and Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 11, The Clock Runs Out Part III

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 11, The Clock Runs Out Part II

I Watched Northanger Abbey (2007) with my 13 Year Old Niece

Today’s my blogiversary!

9 years of celebrating Jane Austen (and a few other things!)

And to celebrate, I decided to watch + review Northanger Abbey (2007) with my 13 year old niece.

Last year my niece and I watched Sense and Sensibility (1995). The post was popular and my niece and I had a lot of fun. So I thought, why not bring it back with one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptions. And I’m still trying to convert my niece to Jane Austen.

I don’t know if she will like it, but she enjoyed Sense and Sensibility, so I’m confident she won’t hate it.

At least I’m hoping she is!

I will give a quick synopsis for those who have never sent the film or read the book. Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen’s books to be written and is kind of a parody of gothic novels and a saltire on society. In the story Catherine Morland is a minister’s daughter who loves to read and has an overactive imagination. She is asked to accompany family friends to Bath and while there her life becomes a bit like a novel as she meets the mysterious Tilney family, of which one son she finds delightful and handsome, Mr. Tilney. She also has another man vying for her affections, a more crude and brutish man, Mr. Thorpe. She is later given an opportunity to stay with the Tilneys in their home Northanger Abbey and wonders if there is a dark secret there. Catherine begins investigating but is there really a mystery or has her overactive imagination just struck again?

Hmm…

So this won’t be a full review as last October I reviewed the film for my Horrorfest IX and you can click on the link and read my full review. Instead this will just be our thoughts while watching it. For this I refer to my niece as “G“.

Okay so here we go…

So the film starts off with the great quote from the beginning of the novel:

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.”

Northanger Abbey

I love that quote. I feel it right away connects you to Catherine as most of us are just average people.

G: What’s a heroine?

Me: A female hero.

The film then progresses to talking about Cathrine more how she was plain and more interested in boy’s things than girls, but around 15 she started to care more about her appearance and other things. Her parents were known to say:

“Catherine grows quite a good-looking girl—she is almost pretty today…”

Northanger Abbey

G: Don’t lie to her.

Ouch!

My niece can be really mean sometimes. I think Felicity Jones is so cute and very pretty.

I also love that quote to “be almost pretty”:

G: Her little sister is so annoying.

Me: Yeah the little sister is very sassy.

So as the film progresses, the Allen’s ask Catherine to come along with them. We both agreed that we wished we had a family friend who wouldn’t ask us on a vacation like that. I mean at least my niece has me, but I wish I had had someone do that for me when I was young.

Sigh!

So in between the action with Catherine every time she reads she imagines herself in the book and we have a dream or imagination while reading sequence. I really like this, but my niece was not a fan.

G: This is weird.

So Catherine and Co. arrive in Bath and when they go out the next day they run into Mr. Tilney.

G: Is that the guy she’s gonna end up with?

Wow, she was sharp. At least she’s not opposed to him like she was to Colonel Brandon last year. But then again who could ever resist JJ Feild?

G: I really like their [Mrs. Allen and Catherine] dresses.

I totally agree, as even though Catherine isn’t the wealthiest Austen heroine, nor the poorest, I like her dresses the most.

I love how Mr. Tilney is able to clear the room for the ladies with a glare. He’s like get out of the way, this table is for the ladies!

So as Catherine dances with Mr. Tilney, she notices another man watching her and questions Mr. Tilney about him.

“Catherine: [Puzzled] Why does he look at us?

Mr. Tilney: I imagine he likes what he sees.

Catherine: [Incredulous] You don’t mean me?”

G: No duh!

Yeah, Catherine is pretty naive. Although in her defense she’s never really been called pretty before so it is easy not to see it in yourself.

Mr. Tilney decides to sassy and sarcastic (as usual):

“Mr. Tilney: So, tell me, what will you write in your journal tonight? ‘Friday, went to the Lower Rooms, wore my sprigged muslin dress with blue trimmings, and looked very pretty, though I say so myself. Danced with one man, was stared at by another much more handsome.”

Me: Who do you think is more handsome, Mr. Tilney or him? [points to Mr. Thorpe]

G: Not him [points to Thorpe], he looks weird. I like that other guy, what’s his name? Christopher?

Me: Mr. Tilney, Henry Tilney.

I’m all about that Henry!

We have another dream sequence and at first G wasn’t into it, but then we started talking about how we act when we read.

G: I like to imagine myself as a character or create my own.

Me: Me too.

Look at that, we both be Catherine Morlands.

The next day Mrs. Allen and Catherine are out and they run into Mrs. Thorpe and Isabella Thorpe.

G: She [Isabella] looks mean.

Me: Well, she’s not a nice. And look at her dress, during the day ladies wore a fichu or lace to cover themselves and only at night would wear something so low cut, but Isabella is not following the rules.

The next day the girls are out checking to see if Mr. Tilney is still visiting the Upper Rooms. They don’t see his signature and leave, being followed by two men. The men go a different way and instead of steering away, Isabella wants to cross paths with them again.

G: She wants to run into those men, that’s why she has her boobs out.

Isabella is definitely on the prowl!

They run into James Morland (Catherine Morland’s brother) and John Thorpe (Isabella’s brother). James is super into Isabella and John tries to get with Catherine.

G: John Thorpe looks so crazy! Hes so creepy.

Me: It is because he has such a heavy brow.

G: Yeah but it is the way he stares at her, with his eyes-it is so crazy [mimics John Thorpe].

Me: Yeah, he makes me think of those tiktok videos when they say do you want to look creepy? Then lower your head and look up with your eyes.

G: He does!

That night they go to a dance and Mr. Tilney arrived with a woman in tow.

G: [Screams]…oh it’s his sister.

The two spend the time talking and make plans to go walking the next day. The only problem is, John Thorpe has other plans. John starts with “I think I saw them leaving”, with Isabella backing him up, then he insists that in this brief passage in the street from far away that he heard them saying they will be gone.

Me: Do you hear that, first he asks Catherine does Mr. Tilney have a certain type of horses and then he’s all I heard them say they will be gone all day. Such a liar!

G: Mmhmm.

Catherine insists they wouldn’t act that way, but then her brother interjects and makes her doubt herself.

“James Morland: My dear scatter-brained sister, haven’t you just heard him say they’re halfway to Wick Rocks?”

G: Shut up James! You’re supposed to be on my side!

Me: I know, right! James is so awful, look how he talks to her.

John Thorpe goes off in his phaeton with Catherine and who should they see as they go down the way.

“Catherine Morland: [Sees Mr. Tilney and Miss Tilney] Oh, Miss Tilney! [To Mr. Thorpe] Stop! Stop now! It’s Miss Tilney and her brother!

John Thorpe: There’ll be hell to pay if I tried to stop him now!

Catherine Morland: Please stop, Mr Thorpe! I’ll get down! I will!

John Thorpe: It’s not possible!

Catherine Morland: Oh!

John Thorpe: Whoa, there!

Catherine Morland: How could you deceive me so?

John Thorpe: Well, what if I did?

G: Boom! I would smack him!

Me: He definitely needs a punch in the face.

G: Get Out and Run, Catherine!

Me: She should! But she won’t as he manipulates her into feeling bad that if she leaves her brother and Isabella, they can’t ride together.

They get rained on, served them right. And the next day they go to the opera where John Thorpe tries to be romantic and fails.

“John Thorpe: Damn fine-looking woman. [To Catherine] But she’s nothing to you, you know.

G: I don’t care!

Ugh, John Thorpe!

Ugh…this guy

Catherine goes to talk to the Tilneys after the opera performance and apologizes. Mr. Tilney tries to act cool, but you know he was probably driving Eleanor up the wall with his heartbroken.

G: You’re [John Thorpe] nothing to him [Mr. Tilney]

A couple days later Catherine learns of James and Isabella’s engagement. John Thorpe tries to ask Catherine, sort of.

“John Thorpe: Miss Morland, I, too, must take my leave for the present, just for the present. I’m going to accompany James to Fullerton, and then onto town to help him choose a ring.

G: I’m not going to miss you.

Me: I know, right.

“John Thorpe: Perhaps I might look for one for myself while I’m there. Do you think I should?”

G: No!

So the men leave and the next time they go to a ball, Isabella states she will not dance with anyone. However, Mr. Tilney’s older brother, the rogue, enters the scene.

“Mr. Tilney: Miss Morland, allow me to introduce my brother, Captain Tilney.

Captain Tilney: [Dismissive] Charmed. [Moves away from them]

Mr. Tilney: Don’t let my brother’s ill manners offend you. That’s how he is, I’m afraid. He was ill-mannered as a baby.

Even though Isabella wasn’t supposed to be dancing as her “love” is away, she dances with Captain Tilney.

Catherine ends up being asked to go visit Northanger Abbey. We both wished we could go to a castle.

Please pick me.

On Catherine’s last day in Bath she and Isabella go to the Upper Rooms. There Isabella hangs out with Captain Tilney.

G: Are they [Isabella and Captain Tilney] dating now?

Me: Just watch.

Catherine then travels to Northanger Abbey which is awesome and mysterious and I really, really, really want to go there one day.

G: I wish I could go to a castle. I want everyone to know the princess that I am.

So at Northanger Abbey Catherine spends a lot of fun time with the Tilneys, especially once General Tilney leaves on business. One thing Catherine had wanted to see was the portrait of Mrs. Tilney, but General Tilney kept them from the room. When Mr. Tilney goes away, Catherine takes the time to search in the room.

G: Why are we snooping around?

I alsways feel embarrassed when Catherine does this but I totally would want to do the same. Unfortunately, Mr. Tilney catches her and as you can imagine it doesn’t go well.

Catherine become even more upset when she gets a letter from her brother James who has ended his engagement as Isabella was trying to get with Captain Tilney, he has left Bath believing the two to be engaged although Eleanor does not believe her brother will, he’s not into commitment.

G: It’s because of all those low cut dresses she wore.

Then Catherine gets a letter from Isabella. Isabella tried to trade up but nothing came of it as Captain Tilney is not into commitment.


”Catherine Morland: I wish I had never known her.

Eleanor Tilney: It will soon be as if you never had.

Catherine Morland: There is one thing I can’t understand. What has Captain Tilney been about all this time? Why should he pay her such attentions and then fly off himselr?

Eleanor Tilney: He has his vanity, as well as Miss Thorpe. And he is accustomed to…having his way. Though I am surprised he should have stooped to such an easy conquest.

Catherine Morland: Really? Then I am sorry for Isabella.

Eleanor: I am sure she will be over it soon enough. “

Oh, Eleanor is just throwing shade.

So the film ends with Catherine being sent home with no escort. She doesn’t cause a scene as she thinks that Mr. Tilney told his father what she thought about him murdering his wife. After she returns home, Mr. Tilney comes after her and declares his love in the most romantic way! It is such a great scene!

So after the movie ended I asked her thoughts:

Me: Did you like it? What did you think?

G: It was good.

Me: Did you like it better than Sense and Sensibility?

G: Hmm…I don’t know.

Me: Which guy do you like the best. One of the guys from Sense and Sensibility or Mr. Tilney.

G: I don’t remember what they looked like.

Me: This one is Mr. Ferrars, Elinor’s love interest [Shows picture of Hugh Grant]. And then the other guy was the actor who played Snape.

G: Snape??!

Me: Yes, Snape.

G: I liked this guy better. I think he was cuter.

Yay! She likes Mr. Tilney and she liked the movie. My work here is done…at least for now.

If interested in a full review, click on this link. Otherwise thank you for 9 wonderful years! Happy Blogiversary!

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey

For more film and TV adaptions, go to Dear William: Letters from Georgiana Darcy

For more blogiversary posts, go to I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

Now what is an anniversary without presents!

The 9th anniversary it is pottery, wood, or willow wood. Let’s see what I can find as a gift on here, I’ll try to see if I can find something from every year …

For “pottery” we have a Jane Austen/Harry Potter post from 2014

For “wood” I have a post on Emma Woodhouse from 2015:

Another “wood” piece is my review of Emma [Woodhouse] (1996) AKA The Kate Beckinsale Version from 2016

Some more “wood” is the wooden ship Captain Wentworth has and my 5th blogiversary post from 2017

For “pottery” how about a pot of tea? (Post from 2018)

Another “wood” is my review of Rational Creatures: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. These two are “Self-Composed” by Christina Morland and “Every Past Affliction” by Nicole Clarkston (From 2019)

For more “wood” some Sense & Senchability tea the Dashwood sisters would love! (from 2020)

So thanks for the past nine years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

Yay!

And a special thank you to all who follow me:

My Regency Gown from MadsenCreations

So I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been wanting a Regency inspired gown for quite a while now.

I had planned to have one made for Modesto Jane Con but time ran away with me and we didn’t get a chance.

But this time I was ready. I put an order in early with Madsen Creations and was determined to have my Regency gown for my birthday party.

Now I don’t know about you all but I’m one of those people who I need to see something on me and struggle at looking at fabric and seeing the end result. Oftentimes I don’t know what I want and kind of hem and haw about it all. This time I had seen lots of Regency gowns in different films and had a better idea of what I really wanted. Of course I really wanted a coat like Catherine:

But that is too, too hot for CA spring.

Instead I really wanted a blue gown, as blue always looks good on me, and after searching through many gowns the biggest influence was the cut of Lydia’s gown in Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and the style of Daphne’s gown in Bridgerton.

I haven’t actually seen this show, but I loved the pearls on the dress.

After the gown was selected we went on a trip to the fabric store. Originally we were going to find a lace to add on top of the gown, but there was no fabric that I really liked and time was limited. Instead we purchased blue linen, blue thread, pearl buttons-and swapped out the plans for an overlay for an applique (being inspired by Emma (2020).

I also needed a new fan, as my pride and joy is a red fan from Spain that my brother and sister-in-law gave me, and would clash with this gown. I needed a few supplies from the dollar tree and found a blue fan that matched the fabric for $1.

From there my work was done and Madsen Creations took over. She made this dress in a week, yes one week! Isn’t that amazing?

She ended up using a lace overlay with pearl buttons she had leftover from a previous costume she made. She also said that if it wasn’t for the trickiness of the pearls in the overlay, the dress would have been completed in two days.

My dress was absolutely beautiful, a perfect dream and I looked great in it.

If you are looking for any custom work, definitely check her out.

We are almost done with my party plans. Can you believe it? Just a one more thing to share and then I’ll be back to our usual book reviews and such.

For more on Madsen Creations, go to Jane Austen Runs My Life Collaboration with Madsen Creations!

For more Madsen Creations products, go to I Tried Madsen Creations’ Reusable Cloth Teabags

For more Jane Austen products, go to Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Catherine Morland’s Regency Hairdo

So we are almost done with going over my Jane Austen 29th Birthday Party planning.

We have gone over invitations, decorations, the menu, games, my teapot piñata, prizes, and party favors. In this post I’ll be going over my hair choice, the next will feature my gown, and then last but not least my party playlist.

So my hair and I do not have a good relationship, it rarely ever does what I want it to.

So I was first going to try and do a hairstyle like Marianne Dashwood:

But it wouldn’t come out right. So then I tried for Mary Crawford.

But my hair was just not cooperating.

Its times like that that make me wish I had a maid to work on my hair.

I was feeling really stressed as I was running out of time when I decided to try and do what I do when I’m feeling down and stressed, look up my girl Catherine Morland.

Her hair didn’t look too difficult, so I googled to see if I could find a step-by-step guide and discovered this one for doll hair. I figured that if it worked well for the doll, it should theoretically work well on human hair, right?

The directions come from Never Grow Up Doll Guide Blog. She did it for some kind of Regency doll photo shoot. I really liked her step by step directions as they were easy to follow and she included lots of pictures. As I was doing mine on my own, I didn’t take any pictures, but here is step by step how to create Catherine’s hair.

  1. Choose a piece of ribbon (I used a leftover piece from my gown) and place it tie on your head like a headband. Leave two sections of hair loose in the front.
  2. Secure the ribbon by Bobby pining it in.
  3. Keep the two sections of hair separate by clipping them. I put the extra hair in claws so it would stay put:
  4. . Then put all your hair (except the front two sections) into a ponytail.
  5. Take your ponytail and twist it into a bun, Bobby pining it to stay in place.
  6. Take one of the front strands and twist it, placing the end on top of the bun and looping it around the bin. Pin in place.
  7. Repeat step 6

I didn’t take a really good picture of my hair, but it looked fantastic. I definitely recommend doing this to your hair.

We are almost done with my party plans. Can you believe it? Just a few more things to share.

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Party Favors II

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: What’s in Your Purse Game