Dec 132009
 

Finally, a Beautiful and Captivating Sequel for Sense and Sensibility!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

Sense and Sensibility is such a lovely, honest, and entertaining novel; it such a shame that not many authors have attempted to compose a sequel for it. I have greatly enjoyed Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange (S&S told from Colonel Brandon’s point-of-view) and Reason and Romance by Debra White Smith (a modern adaption with Christian undertones); but neither of those are sequels or include a continuation story for Margaret. But now, having read Willoughby’s Return, I feel I have found the sequel for Sense and Sensibility I have always wanted! I am so very delighted that Jane Odiwe has supplied us ravenous Austenites with this compelling and expressive sequel to cherish and enjoy!

Whatever became of Margaret Dashwood? As Elinor and Marianne’s younger sister, Margaret has witnessed their heartbreaks and heartaches first hand. Has their experiences made her wiser, more cautious, or perhaps, more indifferent to love? Does she take after rational and sensible Elinor or does she favor Marianne’s romantic tendencies and impetuous nature?

In this novel, Margaret Dashwood, who is at the marriageable age of 18, seems to be the victim of Marianne’s matchmaking schemes. So far she has yet to meet a man that can live up to her expectation or measure up to her childhood love (can you guess who that is?). However, when Margaret meets Colonel Brandon’s nephew, the handsome, romantic, and charming Henry Lawrence, she feels she may have finally met her ideal man…

Marianne and Colonel Brandon, the other couple focused upon in this story, have been married for three years and have a two-year old boy named James. Like all married couples, they are experiencing some difficulties and trials in their marriage. Marianne is exhibiting some jealousy, insecurity, and mistrust in Colonel Brandon’s love for her. Colonel Brandon, trying to be a father figure in two separate households (he looks after his ward, Eliza Williams and her child, Lizzy), finds that he has unintentionally been neglecting Marianne and spending too much time away from her. Furthermore, the ghost of Willoughby haunts their marriage, both Marianne and Colonel Brandon never mention his name or their past association with him. Because of their silence on the subject, when Willoughby re-enters Marianne’s life, she chooses not to share with her husband their encounters and conversations. Secrets are never good for a marriage…

Jane Odiwe has done a magnificent job of continuing the story of Sense and Sensibility, I greatly enjoyed spending more time with these characters and was pleased to see them so accurately portrayed. I was delighted that other minor character such as the Mrs. Jennings, the Middletons and Mrs. Lucy Ferrars were included in this novel and that they appeared the same as ever. I would have loved for Elinor and Edward to have more page time, but I understand that a story with two heroines is quite enough and to add a third heroine may have resulted in diminishing the stories of the other two.

Willoughby’s Return was appropriately romantic, emotional, and passionate. I commend Jane Odiwe for capturing the essence and excellence of Sense and Sensibility and continuing the story in a knowledgeable and sympathetic manner. It is obvious that Ms. Odiwe loves and cares greatly for her characters (even the difficult ones), and I feel that Jane Austen loved her characters the same way. I greatly enjoyed this sequel for Sense and Sensibility and look forward to more works from Jane Odiwe.

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9 Comments on "Willoughby’s Return – Jane Odiwe"

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Alexa Adams

Lovely review! You express my sentiments exactly – when I next read Sense and Sensibility and come to that lonely last page I shall not mourn, for now I can open Willoughby’s Return and remain at Barton and Delaford for a little while longer.

Alexa Adams

Lovely review! You express my sentiments exactly – when I next read Sense and Sensibility and come to that lonely last page I shall not mourn, for now I can open Willoughby’s Return and remain at Barton and Delaford for a little while longer.

Nina

Great Review, i need to read this asap. This book sounds very good!
Just look at that cover..wow

Meredith

Thank you Alexa and Nina!

I hope you like this book as much as I did, Nina. The cover is gorgeous, isn’t t?

Alexa, I would love to hear what you thought of this book, do you have a review up on your blog? I love your reviews, they’re so thorough and smart!

Alexa Adams

Thanks Meredith! Such praise means a lot coming from you. I did review it, about a month ago: http://alexaadams.blogspot.com/2009/11/willoughbys-return-by-jane-odiwe.html.

Rebecca :)

I have not read Sense & Sensibility yet, but my mother has a copy and I hope to read it soon. Then I can get into all the S&S sequels. For now I am enjoying the P&P sequels though!

Katherine

I’ve heard such good things about Jane Odiwe’s sequels. I’ve just placed Willoughby’s Return on hold at my library. 😉

suzan

I just started this book. I’m so looking forward to it especially after reading your review.

cassandragrafton

Love the review, Meredith! This is on my long list of books to read and now I am even more keen!

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