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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun - nourishing Jane Austen fans senses, and romance readers sensibilities!
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...
Published on March 26, 2011 by Laurel Ann

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too similar to S&S for me
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 =...
Published on September 28, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun - nourishing Jane Austen fans senses, and romance readers sensibilities!, March 26, 2011
This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (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. These two modern thirty-something Dashwood's don't have much in common personality wise, nor do they like each other very much, but to honor their mother's dying wish they travel to England for a walking tour of Hampshire. Taking the Jane Austen pilgrimage to Steventon Rectory, Chawton Cottage, and the Chawton Great House, their journey concludes at her final resting place, Winchester Cathedral. Along the way they must decide where they want to scatter their mother's ashes and what to do with a diary she gave them that may have been written by Jane's sister Cassandra. Each of the sisters reacts differently to the realization that the diary may be authentic and valuable. Shallow and vain Mimi smells money to fund her desire to open a fashion boutique in New York City, and practical and stoic Ellen wants to read, understand and discover if the diary is indeed authentic and if they want to sell it.

Mysteriously, others in the tour group, especially the Jane Austen expert Mrs. Gwendolyn Parrot, seem to know who the sisters are and why they are there, even though they have not shared any of the details with her. Also popping back into Ellen's life after fifteen years, and into the tour group is Daniel, her college heartthrob and the only man she has ever loved, even though he never knew it. He is now an antiques dealer and Ellen assumes that her mother also sent him on the tour to help her daughters with the diary, and rekindle the unrequited love that Ellen never pursued. On the other hand, Mimi who fails in and out of love as quickly as the changing fashion season immediately hooks up with another enigmatic gentleman on the tour, the hunky Ethan Blakemore, a descendant of Jane Austen who has recently inherited a local estate. Ellen secretly questions why a local would take a walking tour in his own backyard? Mimi doesn't wonder anything about Ethan, except when he will propose.

As the sisters travel through the countryside following in Austen's footsteps, they also read the diary revealing secrets in Jane and her sister Cassandra's relationship that so tested their love and friendship for each other that it nearly tore them apart forever. While Ellen and Mimi have their own Elinor and Marianne Dashwood romantic entanglements and disappointments, they are drawn together when they question if the plot in SENSE AND SENSIBILY is based on the author's real life experiences, and others in their group who are part of the "Formidables" go to great lengths to prevent them from discovering the truth.

Anyone eager for a vacation from the usual Austenesque fare inspired by Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy will appreciate the creative, unique, and intriguing contemporary theme and snap this novel up without a second thought. Pattillo has the clever knack of combining a romantic contemporary tale with historical connections centered around Austen lore. THE DASHWOOD SISTERS TELL ALL nourishes Jane Austen fans senses, and romance readers sensibilities! Come for the Austen travelogue and get lost in the romance and adventure.

P.S. - we are still patiently awaiting the invitation to become a Formidable.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too similar to S&S for me, September 28, 2011
This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming contemporary spin of Sense and Sensibility, April 3, 2011
This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, September 2, 2013
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Donna M (Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Paperback)
A fast read but hokey. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it but I would not recommend it unless you enjoy light, predictable fluff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cute read, June 20, 2013
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A cute read. The primace was interesting, ending was not a huge surprise, but fun for an easy read. I have also enjoyed a few of Beth Pattilos other novels and enjoyed them as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and entertaining, May 22, 2011
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This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Another fun story in this series by Beth Pattillo, October 21, 2014
Another fun story in this series by Beth Pattillo. You don't need to have read the first one, Jane Austen Ruined My Life, to enjoy this one; there are only a few minor references in it that you won't get. None of the same characters as in the earlier book. I liked the modern take on Sense and Sensibility, and the sisters drew me into their conflicts and history (quite different from the original, so you will find some surprises). Also it's always fun to "see" more Jane Austen sites. And reading Cassandra's supposed journal was very interesting!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Journey, June 27, 2014
Writing a review from the distance of a few days means that the details blur; you are left with an overall impression. It was such a pleasant journey through the English countryside. Family dynamics are always difficult and closeness is a gift. I have earmarked Beth Patillo as an author I want to read more of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, June 10, 2013
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This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Paperback)
I have sisters and know that the relationship is never smooth sailing so these sisters seemed real to me. I love this authors work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Little Book, April 25, 2013
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This review is from: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Paperback)
This is a cute little story and I loved it because I am such a Jane Austen fan. It's a light read and most enjoyable. It was a pleasure to read and look forward to more of her books.
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The Dashwood Sisters Tell All
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo (Paperback - April 1, 2011)
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