Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love: by Rosie Rushton


Title: The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love
Author: Rosie Rushton
FormatHardcover - 336 pages
Publication Date: September 15, 2006 by Hyperion
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Goodreads DescriptionThe Walker sisters have always lived a privileged life in their beloved Holly House in Sussex. Even though their father, Max Walker, has left the family to live with his new macrobiotic-food-obsessed trophy wife, Pandora, he has always doted on his girls. But then one day, reality crashes down around them when Max has a heart attack and passes away, uncovering the truth that he was knee deep in debt. The Walkers discover that their home is actually in Pandora's name and she decides she wants it back. So the family has to uproot their lives and move to the seaside town of Norfolk in an old cottage. What happens then…?

Review: Apparently this is supposed to be a modern take on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, which I honestly did not know when I started reading it. Having never read Sense and Sensibility I cannot say whether or not it is a good retelling, but I can tell you it was a good novel to read.

The story is that of 3 sisters who lose their father to a heart attack. After his death, the family learns of the debt that their father left behind, and in turn are forced to move from the house that they had spent their whole lives in. The story follows the girls' as they try to return to normal life while grieving for their father. 

I enjoyed this story so much. The dynamics of the sisters was hilarious, and the whole time they were interacting with each other throughout the story all I could think of was of myself and my sisters. I also enjoyed following the girls as they navigated their new surroundings, and the unexplored universe of love.

After realising this story is a retelling of Jane Austen's novel, I intend to eventually read the original, as this book was absolutely delightful to read. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed the original story, and to anyone who enjoys a good love story.

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The Queen of Everything: by Deb Calleti

Title: The Queen of Everything
AuthorDeb Caletti
Format: Paperback - 384 pages 
Publication Date: May 25, 2004 by Simon Pulse
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Goodreads Description: "People ask me all the time what having Vince MacKenzie for a father was like. What they mean is, was he always crazy?" High school junior Jordan MacKenzie's life was pretty typical: fractured family, new boyfriend, dead-end job. She'd been living with her father (the predictable optometrist) since her mother (the hippie holdover) had been too embarrassing to be around. Jordan felt that she finally had as normal a life as she could. Then came Gayle D'Angelo.

Jordan knew her father was dating Gayle and that Gayle was married. Jordan knew it was wrong and that her father was becoming someone she didn't recognize anymore, but what could she do about it? And how could she -- how could anyone -- have possibly guessed that this illicit love affair would implode in such a violent and disturbing way?

Review: I have always enjoyed Deb Caletti's style of writing since I read Honey, Baby, Sweetheart a few years ago. She has a way of creating characters who, even though their stories are out of the ordinary, are easy to relate to and understand emotionally.

I immediately liked Jordan, and I enjoyed the story being told from her perspective. I felt that her telling was how a normal high school girl would tell the story of her father's illicit affair with a married woman. While she knew that the affair was toxic, there was nothing she could do except to sit back and watch her father's life fall apart before her eyes. 

The ending of the story was extremely predictable, but it was still a fantastic read all the same. The story had enough suspense and back story that it was easy to get lost in. It was a quick and fun read, and I look forward to reading Caletti's other novels.

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