Friday, August 22, 2014

Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison!

Which is the key to love—passion or sensibility? Sensible Elly and romantic Maren are sisters trying to hold their family together in the wake of their father’s bankruptcy and death. As each unexpectedly encounters the madness and misadventures of love, will they ever find the true happiness they dream of? This modern reimagination of the Jane Austen favorite will capture your heart all over again.

Rebecca H. Jamison has lived on a live volcano, excavated the bones of a prehistoric mammal, and won first prize at a rigged chili cook-off. She wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Her first two published works are Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale and Emma: A Latter-day TaleRebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom. Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah. You can learn more about her


Elly and Maren are completely different. Elly uses her good sense to rule her life, while Maren wants passion to rule her life. After their father passes away, they find themselves caught in a desperate situation. Neither of them have worked for a while, and their mother's meager salary isn't paying the bills. Elly is forced to take a job at the company that ran her father's into the ground. It also happens to be owned by her ex-fiancee. Life is further complicated by Elly's growing attachment to Ethan, the brother of her ex-fiancee's wife. Elly will do whatever it takes to keep her family afloat, but this is further complicated by Maren's depression and their younger sister's autism. Will Elly's good sense prevail?

I love Jane Austen, and I have loved each of Rebecca Jamison's adaptations of some of my favorite Jane Austen books. I felt like the author made some particularly creative and bold choices in dealing with this story, and they really paid off for me. First of all, having Elly in a STEM field? I am all in for that. Also, choosing to have the youngest daughter, Grace, have autism was an interesting choice. It certainly makes sense in the context of the story though. It made for some beautiful moments with all the characters. Finally, I thought Maren's POV chapters were amazingly done. Mental illness (and depression in particular) have been on a lot of minds lately as of the writing of this review (August 2013). I thought the author did a great of job of making you feel what Maren was feeling. The utter hopelessness that she had. I wanted so much to be able to help Maren and make her feel better, and once again this choice makes sense in the story. I think Jane Austen would approve for sure.

There are lots of LDS cultural things that are a part of the story, so this would probably make the book slightly unapproachable to non-LDS readers. For me though, that makes it more interesting. The author has a very keen grasp on things that we do as a group that add to the overall interest of the story. Some of these of course are just a matter of "tradition" within the community, but it does make for an additional sense of relating to the story and characters. I loved this book and would definitely read it again. I can't wait to see what the author has cooking up next.

Book provided for review.

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