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The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love Paperback – September 16, 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–Ellie, Abby, and Georgie Dashwood dislike their father's new wife and the effect she is having on him. When he dies suddenly, the girls and their mother learn that Mr. Dashwood left enormous debts and no inheritance, and the sting is even greater because he changed his will to leave the family's ancestral home to the new Mrs. Dashwood. The girls must leave their private school near London and the only home they've known and move to a small cottage in the country. The sisters and their mother cope with their reduced circumstances in different ways. Ellie, the oldest, is the practical one who worries about everything but finds love. Abby, the drama-queen middle child, falls in love with the rich bad boy and ends up hurt, and Georgie, the youngest, is the tomboy who doesn't realize the effect she has on a local boy. The girls' mother just does a lot of hand-wringing. If the plot seems familiar, it should because the novel is presented as an "homage" to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The author does a decent job of modernizing the tale, but the writing lacks Austen's subtlety and reads more like a movie script. In addition, the story is predictable, and the characters are all fairly static. However, the novel is enjoyable in the way that "beach books" are, and it will appeal to teens looking for something light and entertaining. The cover is eye-catching and au courant as well.–Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Their parents' divorce, followed by their father's remarriage and sudden death, have forced Dashwood sisters Ellie, Abby, and Georgie to leave their posh family estate for a hayseed burg--a transition that feels "like finding yourself in the middle of a Jane Austen novel." Indeed. In chronicling the sisters' ensuing romantic entanglements, Rushton plunders freely from Sense and Sensibility, with alterations as necessary: conventions of Empire courtship give way to text messages and pub parties, and the replacement of the original's selfish half-brother heir with a shrewish stepmom will prove more resonant to today's readers. Other results of Rushton's tinkering are less successful; for instance, the girls' tender relationship with their father makes the frothier plot points following his death seem a bit discordant. Even so, this clever homage to a progenitor of chick lit will be snatched up as greedily by anglophiles as by readers who swear by Ann Brashares but don't know Austen from Bronte. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786851376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786851379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,411,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An enjoyable adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, sort of in the vein of Clueless but without the sparkling wit. It is very predictable, especially for anyone who is familiar with Jane Austen's original work. Georgie is a nice addition to the story--though she could be traced to Margaret in Emma Thompson's adaption, same tomboy zeal for life.

Some characters' motiviations aren't very clear to me either, such as Lucy--who is a bit more sterotypical than the original Lucy Steele. Standard nasty blond girl who somehow is the most popular.

It also seems that the story contains a bit of an Emma plot line with Abby and her friend (who's name i can't remember--and I only read it yesterday) vying for the same drummer.

All in all, it was aptly compared to a teen beach read. The girls are cute, and the story is enjoyable in its fluffiness but not the timeless classic from which it has been clearly taken.
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Format: Hardcover
For the Dashwood sisters everything seems to be going wrong. Their father dies and they become utterly poverty stricken.

The book was ok except the charcters could get pretty annoying especially whats her name the middle child, who really annoyed me. In a lot of teen books the main characters do such stupid things that I could never imagine doing and I wonder if the author thinks that teens are stupid or if they're trying to teach me a lesson.

Anyway, this book was an ok read, something to sustain me with some thing to read while waiting for some thing better to come along.

I don't highly recommend it but it is readable.
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Format: Hardcover
The characters are trite. Boring. You've seen them a hundred times over. Every single one. The same goes for the plot, which revolves around these teenage girls' predictable love lives. The writing is weak. While it's capable of keeping you interested, I still consider it a waste of time. It's fine for someone who's never read a decent book before, but otherwise, leave it.
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Format: Paperback
These were some of the most shallow, one-dimensional, self-absorbed, blind characters I have ever come across. To have to type that in connection with Jane Austen pains me, but it says right on the cover that this is an "engaging homage to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility". In truth, this book is the Anti-Jane. Besides the terrible characters, there is absolutely no subtlety to this book at all, and Jane has got subtlety going on. Jane also throws in a few life lessons learned, a bit of character development; these characters end as shallow as they begin. The mother really is an imbecile, not even a well-meaning one. The worst, though, is the idea that this book is for teens. The middle daughter, at 16, actually yells after her boyfriend as he's leaving that fine, she'll sleep with him as long as he'll keep going out with her. What?! No, really - what?!?! It's not like after this scene she comes to realize that was bad, maybe a guy that would pressure you like that isn't in love with you, no no, she'll moans over him until another boy comes along to fill his place and make her forget the other one. And the 13 year old is actually dating two guys at once, effectively, and it's thrown in as though it's meant to be cute. I can't really find any age where lying and hurting others is cute. I could go on with other complaints about the book, but really, what's the point?
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Format: Hardcover
Ellie, Abby, and Georgie had a happy life with their family at their ancestoral home, Holly House. Ellie is the quiet, studious one, Abby the flirtatious girly girl, and Georgie the tomboy. Then their dad met Plastic Pandora, the ridiculously young bimbo who tore their family apart. With their parents divorced, they stayed at Holly House while their dad went off to live in a plush apartment with his trophy wife, while continuing to foot their bills. The Dashwood sisters and their mom continue to lead a comfortable life despite the divorce. On a birthday excursion, Ellie, the oldest, notices some strange things: her dad's credit card is denied, he explodes when he sees Abby's new phone, and several "final notice" letters on his desk. Mr. Dshwood brushes these things aside. However, when he has a sudden heart attack and dies, the truth comes out. He bankrupted himself. The Dashwood women are left with nothing- no school tuition, no little pile of saving tucked away, and worst of all: he put Holly House in Pandora's name! She's moving in and kicking them out. Whats left of the Dashwood family moves to a tiny cottage in a minute town. There they struggle to start over and find romance. Ellie is smitten with, of all people, Pandora's nephew! However, he already has a girlfriend, who he says he wants to leave. Is he leading her on, or does he really want to be with her? Abby falls in love with the handsome son of a politician. She ignores her friend Nick, who is smitten with her, even though he is so much better for her. Georgie is beginning to blossom, and is torn between her new boyfriend and her old best friend. Will the Dashwoods overcome the hardships to find love and happiness?
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Format: Paperback
Sense and Sensibility is not one of my favorite JA books. I’ve read a lot of terrible Sense and Sensibility reboots, perhaps trying to find a new angle to love. I’m happy to say The Dashwood Sisters is not one of the bad ones. I actually enjoyed this book very much.

Set in modern day Britain, The Dashwood Sisters, brings our Dashwoods into our century, in a fresh way. The author didn’t seem hampered in by the original Sense and Sensibility and allowed her story to flow into other directions. The “Secrets of Love” that begin each chapter were fun and helped point the chapters in the right direction.

I really enjoyed how Rushton created this new tale. She brought Georgie into her own as I always thought JA kind of left her to dawdle as the other sisters fell in and out of love. Ellie (Eleanor) being my favorite character wasn’t quite as lurched by love, but I enjoyed her new-found modernism and independence. Abby (Marianne) wasn’t as annoying in this book as I normally find her to be and I thought the author modernized her “outlandish” behavior quite well. Especially toward the end of the book. I like how she worked the Col. Brandon character in (Nick). He’s so different from the Colonel we know and yet, you find yourself feeling very much the same for him. Dad and mom split, modern family dynamics changed and then lost, this book brought in tastes of the original without stalling.

A most enjoyable read and the best S&S reboot I’ve read.
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