THE DASHWOOD SISTERS’ SECRETS OF LOVE by Rosie Rushton

THE DASHWOOD SISTERS’ SECRETS OF LOVE

Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unlike Jane Austen’s classic exploration of passion versus reserve, this homage to Sense and Sensibility itself falls victim to exaggeration and melodrama. As in the original, there are three Dashwood sisters, the eldest calm and the second impulsive. They live with their mother in the ancestral family home, which their father vacated when he fell for a young, fake-breasted health nut and remarried. He soon dies penniless and the destitute Dashwoods remove to a small cottage. Ellie and Abby (the eldest and middle sisters) have plotlines similar to Sense and Sensibility, with boys filling the same roles as in the original, but revelations fall flat. Rushton uses a jarring combination of Austen and update; for example, why is eldest sister Ellie named after Austen’s Elinor but second sister Abby not named after Austen’s Marianne? Hard-to-believe details include emotions that change too quickly and muttered put-downs that the victim (standing right there) never hears. Leans vaguely on Austen’s structure without developing its own substance or grace; unsatisfying. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-5136-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2005