This book is a modern version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility with some Christian undertones. The characters have different names, such as Marianne Dashwood is now Anna Woods and Edward Ferrars is Ted Farris. Some characters are completely missing like the Palmers and Margaret Dashwood. But the theme of Sense and Sensibility and a lot of the plot are still there although slightl adapted to fit modern times.
Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is such a masterpiece and a wonderful story. It is great to see an author likeDebra White Smith, who admires Ms. Austen take her masterpiece and try something very original and unique with it. Where some sequel writers are including sex scenes and portraying the characters very differently then Jane Austen intended, it is nice to see an author write a modern adaption of S&S without profanity and wild behavior. Instead, she focused on the very central themes of love that Jane Austen did she just portrayed them in a contemporary style. For example some events in the plot of S&S would not have the same result or affect if they happened today. Like breaking engagements in Jane Austen's time would be a huge social blunder, but in our time period it would not. Furthermore, if you were disinherited in Jane Austen's time there is little you could except marry someone for their money, in our time period you would have to get a job.
The scenario: Elaina (Elinor) and Anna's (Marianne) father passed away, and their mother needs to move out of their family home because of their prenuptual agreement. Elaina's half brother Jake (John Dashwood) and his wife Faye (Fanny) obtain the estate and the bulk of his father's worth. Elaina is an English professor at a Christian University where one of her students is her sister-in-laws brother! They flirt with each other and definitely have some chemistry, but then Ted breaks things off with no explanation. Anna on the other hand falls in love hard with a model named Willis Kenney (Willoughby) who is romantic and a dream come true to her. But then he breaks things off with her with no explanation. These poor sister battle their grief over disappointed love, placing others before God, and learn life lessons about trust and integrity.
I enjoyed reading a modern adaption of Sense and Sensibility. I loved the portrayal of the characters in contemporary times (e.g. Elinor as a professor, Colonel Brandon as a doctor, Edward Ferrars as a pianist). In addition, I loved how Debra White Smith tied God into S&S without it becoming to heavy and preachy. Could the story have been stronger? Yes it could have, there are some typos and perhaps a little weakness in the development of events. However, there is no one else attempting to adapt Jane Austen's books in to Modern Christian stories so this to me is worth 5 stars!
The good news is this is a series of books called the Jane Austen Series. Here's all 6:
1. First Impressions (The Austen Series, Book 1)
2. Reason and Romance (The Austen Series, Book 2)
3. Central Park (The Austen Series, Book 3)
4. Northpointe Chalet (The Austen Series, Book 4)
5. Amanda (The Austen Series, Book 5)
6. Possibilities (The Austen Series, Book 6)
If you liked any of Debra White Smith's books and are interested in keeping a good and loving relationship yourself you may like: What Jane Austen Taught Me About Love and Romance