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Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale Paperback – August 12, 2014
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The book is a retelling of Sense and Sensebility, it’s about the practical Elly and the romantic Maren and their dealing with the struggles and men that cross their path.
Well enough is said in most reviews about the story. I would like to name some things that I found bl***y good:
Ms. Jamisons writing style is very good indeed. One of the main characters, Maren, is depressed. A sickness that plays tricks with our perception. Jamison shows us exactly how that black magic colours everything: rooms are papered with emptiness (on medication) or waves of blackness and anxiety (without medication).
Life is a bumpy business. Elly and Maren have a sister who is slightly different, but she is maybe the most real person in the book. She is a great character. She is so full of otherness that she makes the people around her do all kind of strange things, just because she doesn’t conform/ can’t conform. That gives the story, that sometimes is too sweet, an edge.
I really liked the assertiveness of the female characters: especially Elly. I read my fair share of romantic fiction and I’m often so surprised by the passiveness of the heroine: they don’t say what they want. Maybe that is because in secular books sex always rears it’ s ugly head first. And then the tension is gone and a wrong kind of tension starts: to commit or not to commit. In this book an attraction is the overture for mutual kindness. And if that mutual kindness leads to ambiguous behaviour then you ask what’s wrong. That way of doing things leads by the way to great intimacy. I’ve tried Fifty Shades I couldn’t find Intimacy nor Kindness nor Pleasure for that matter.
And finally: I liked the way the sisters were part of a family. So often people struggle along all by themselves surrounded by some true friends. That for me is a very strange concept. We are more than the sum of all parts.
Criticisms I have as well. There could have been more shades of black. Depression is hell, I can’t imagine not being angry with a sister who is in bed all the time. Sorrow makes people surrounding that black hole angry, out of desperation, out of vexation. Furthermore: in her depression Maren is surprisingly concerned with helping other people, it was hard for me to fathom that. True kindness is a fine thing, but in my experience it must acknowledge and then battle all kinds of feelings of frustration, anger and loneliness.
But all in all: a good book. No more reservations about religion and books: Emma, here I come!
In this story, Elly and Maren Goodwin switch points of view as they deal with the aftermath of losing their father, the family business and being left penniless. The story line is a bit different than Austen's. I found myself anticipating the same timing as Austen's, only to be surprised when it is different. Overall I enjoyed the read.
Colton was a great character and wish he'd had more 'on-stage' time. Ethan seemed a bit wishy-washy in the beginning, which was somewhat frustrating, but redeemed himself by the end.
The LDS part is more cultural than religious and it plays quietly in the background (no preachiness here).
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes modern JA adaptations or a clean romance with real characters.
Clean, Christian, LDS read
It was interesting how this was adapted for a modern setting. I can't say that I will re-read this as many times as I did her Pride and Prejudice adaptation. Still had some good moments for me.