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The Dashwood Sisters Tell All Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Pattillo's love for Jane Austen was born when she studied at the University of London for a semester. She lives in Nashville with her husband and travels frequently to England.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: GuidepostsBooks (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824948742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824948740
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Pattillo's love for Jane Austen was born when she studied at the University of London, Westfield College, for one glorious semester. Her passion quickly became an obsession, necessitating regular trips to England over the past twenty years. When not dreaming of life 'across the pond,' Beth lives in Nashville with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Following JANE AUSTEN RUINED MY LIFE (2009) and MR. DARCY BROKE MY HEART (2010), Austenesque author Beth Pattillo presents the third book in the "Formidables Series," THE DASHWOOD SISTERS TELL ALL. If you are wondering what "Formidables" are, besides being the thread that binds all three of these modern Jane Austen themed novels together, it is a clever play on Jane's own stern moniker for herself and her sister Cassandra in their later years, and, the appropriately named secret society of devoted Janeites safekeeping Austen manuscripts and letters thought to have been destroyed ages ago. Each of the novels involves an American heroine (or in this case heroines) thrown into the investigation of Austen documents held (or wanted) by the society while she is visiting England. They are Jane Austen meets the DA VINCI CODE; light-hearted mysteries/Austenalia/romances that have become one of my favorite light, bright and sparkly indulgences to loose myself in with a cup of tea and a little fantasy.

Inspired by Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, the plot of THE DASHWOOD SISTERS TELL ALL parallels many elements in Austen original story. Any Janeite worthy of their set of THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED JANE AUSTEN (Six Volume Set) will recognize siblings Ellen and Mimi Dodge as Austen's divergent protagonists Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Austen inspired book so I had high expectations...but my thoughts are a bit mixed. Of course, it's fun to relive a beloved story; yet, the retelling is a bit too similar to the original for me.

Obviously, set in the modern era gives it a new edge but I knew exactly what was going to happen the entire time I was reading - no fun! Ellen = Elinor, Mimi = Marianne, Colonel Tom = Colonel Brandon, Ethan = Willoughby, Daniel = Edward...and this is not at all a spoiler because the author blatantly models the modern characters after the originals - is this what all Austen-inspired books are like? Also, Austen's masterful romantic tension is absent in this novel...the relationships just didn't have as much oomph.

If you don't mind basically rereading a contemporary Sense and Sensibility with a few tweaks, then I'm sure you'll really enjoy this novel. However, if you want the author to take a bit more creative license with the original story, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed with the book.
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Format: Paperback
Only their mom's will would send sisters Ellen and Mimi Dodge on an English adventure together as the siblings have nothing in common except their disdain for one another. Their late mom Caroline was a devoted Janeite; for her daughters to inherit, they must spread her ashes in Hampshire. Thus the pair is in England with the mission to follow Jane's trail and to read her sister Cassandra's diary that discusses how they almost became estranged. Each has a different motive re the diary and its potential value if authentic.

They begin the walking tour with disdain as Mimi's facial in London made them miss the bus. The Dodge sisters visit the Austen sites ending at Winchester Cathedral where Jane is buried. At each stop they leave some of their mom's ashes. As others on the tour seem to know what they are doing including Jane, descendent Ethan and Ellen's college crush, Daniel, the duet also begins to uncover secrets contained in Cassandra's diary that someone, probably on the tour, wants it to remain buried.

The third modern take of an Austen classic (see Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart) is a charming contemporary spin of Sense and Sensibility as Ellen and Mimi Dodge are obviously Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. The story line is character driven with the diary insisting that the classic tale is based on the real road trip of the Austen sisters. Fans will enjoy the latest tribute to Jane as the Dodge sister's foibles match those of the Dashwood Sisters who may match those of the Austen sisters.

Harriet Klausner
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The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo was enjoyable and entertaining. Ellen and Mimi Dodge are sent to England by their mother as her part of her dying wish. Mimicking Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, the Jane Austen characters for whom they're named, the two grow in ways they couldn't have foreseen, find closure for their mother's long illness and death, and discover that some secrets are better left guarded. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more of Beth's work!
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Format: Paperback
Ellen and Mimi Dodge are sisters forced to travel together through England because their mother, a devoted Austen fan, makes it a requirement in her will. The sisters were to participate in a Jane Austen themed walking tour in Hampshire, then agree on the most appropriate place to scatter her ashes. Only then would the sisters be entitled to receive an inheritance.

The purpose of the tour was to hopefully bring the Dodge sisters closer together. They couldn't be more different. In Jane Austen terms, Ellen had sense and Mimi had sensibility. Ellen was considered dull while Mimi was spontaneous. Ellen wore sensible shoes and hiking clothes; Mimi wore high heels and dresses. Money didn't matter to Ellen, but Mimi needed the inheritance money to open a fashion boutique. Modern-day Dashwood sisters?

I'd like to first acknowledge the map of England that the author includes in the beginning of the book. It helps to visualize the setting. Everyone knows I am completely obsessed with the UK, so the story immediately held my interest with descriptions of London town. The story is told in both sisters' point of view. Both characters are well developed. A character from a previous Beth Pattillo book also makes an appearance: Mrs. Gwendolyn Parrott of The Formidables.

Like I stated in a previous Pattillo review, I haven't indulged in the original Jane Austen novels yet. I have to be in the mood to read certain genres, including classic literature. However, books written by Beth Pattillo are a treat for me. They offer the right amount of Jane Austen knowledge, modern fiction and chick lit. Since The Dashwood Sisters Tell All was inspired by Sense and Sensibility, I will read the original Jane Austen book sooner rather than later. I recommend The Dashwood Sisters Tell All for chick lit lovers and Jane Austen fans.

Literary Marie
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