About the Book:
In THE DASHWOOD SISTERS TELL ALL by Beth Pattillo (Guideposts, April 5, 2011, $14.99 trade paperback original), two modern-day sisters set out on a walking tour of Jane Austen’s England and uncover Austen’s long-lost diary—and the truth of how her relationship with her sister Cassandra inspired Sense and Sensibility and its two main, characters Marianne and Elinor Dashwood.
This was a treadmill book and I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that good treadmill books are easy reads with fast-moving plots--nothing I have to think about too much and something that makes me want to keep reading rather that to save it for tomorrow. The Dashwood Sisters Tell All fit the bill perfectly.
Ellen and Mimi are sisters. Ellen is practical, Mimi is not. Both are in their 30's and single. They don't hate each other, but there is always friction when they are together. Their mom is a great Jane Austen fan who always tried to interest them in her, and failed. When she dies, she makes them traveling to England on a Jane Austen tour to scatter her ashes a condition of them inheriting. This is the story of the trip.
When they get to England they learn that Ellen's first (and only) love is on the tour as well, and he has a gift for them from their mother--Cassandra Austen's diary. The sisters soon discover there is a mystery to be solved. Of course too, there is Daniel to deal with, and some other men on the tour (after all there are two sisters). Mrs. Parrot from Pattillo's other Jane Austen novels makes an appearance as well. (Read my review of Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart)
Pattillo does a great job (I guess because I've never been there) of describing the places they visited, and how they related to Jane and Cassandra Austen. She has clearly either done her research or is a very creative writer. As the book progresses, the sisters realize how universal the experience of sisterhood is--for good and for bad, and, as would be expected in a book published by Guideposts, everyone lives happily ever after, and the only bedroom scenes involve the sisters lying on the beds talking.
I'd like to thank publicist Maryann Palumbo for sending me a review copy of this book. Grade: B+