Oct 292011
Secrets, Scandals, and Surprises

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Out of all Jane Austen’s novels, Sense and Sensibility is the one I most long to read sequels for! Not because it is my favorite Austen novel, that honor is shared between Pride and Prejudice and Emma. But because I feel a little uncertain about everyone’s happy endings and desirous of seeing evidence of it for myself. I want to see if Marianne is passionately in love with Brandon, if Elinor, after being put through such trials, has found the contentment she deserves, and if Margaret has more sense or more sensibility. And let’s not forget about Mrs. Dashwood! How does she get on in Barton Cottage with an empty nest?

I was most pleased to discover that Rebecca Ann Collins’ sequel, which picks up after seven years after the end of Sense and Sensibility, continues the stories of all FOUR Dashwood women! While Marianne and Margaret share center stage, I loved that there were gratifying subplots for Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood in this tale! The subplot for Mrs. Dashwood was a most delightful surprise! Moreover, this sequel includes appearance by all of our old friends: droll Mr. Palmer, jolly Sir John, self-serving and loathsome Robert and Lucy Ferrars, and our favorite romantic rogue, John Willoughby.

This sequel was pleasantly filled with a lot of drama and action, although it got off to a little bit of a slow start. I was riveted to Marianne’s story – the tension and emotion was palpable! With Willoughby back in the picture and Colonel Brandon away in Ireland… I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! In addition, I took great pleasure in reading about Margaret’s travels in France and her first discovery of love. I adored Ms. Collins’ Margaret, she was intelligent, compassionate, and mature. Elinor, on the other hand, does not have much excitement going on in her life – although she is kept busy by worrying about the lives of Marianne, Margaret and Mrs. Dashwood! Just like in Sense and Sensibility, she was the sturdy anchor in a sea of drama and chaos.

I must admit, I was a bit hesitant to read this novel. Years ago, I read The Pemberley Chronicles: Book 1 by Rebecca Ann Collins and discovered that it wasn’t my cup of tea. Between the strong focus on history and socio-economics instead of romance, lack of conflict, and the fact that the first novel covered a span of twenty-five years, I found myself disinclined to read the remaining books in the series. While I know there are many who love these books and adore Ms. Collins, I just felt this series wasn’t for me.

I was happy to discover that I loved Expectations of Happiness, and that it was very different from Ms. Collins’ other novels! There is plenty of romance and conflict, the novel only covers the span of one year, and the inclusion of historical information is much more mild. I think readers who, like me, weren’t a fan of The Pemberley Chronicles Series will find much to admire and appreciate in this novel! Expectations of Happiness is an exceptionally well-crafted and entertaining sequel to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I highly recommend!

This is my fourth completed item for the “Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge” hosted by Austenprose.  I finished!!  HUZZAH!
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  8 Responses to “Expectations of Happiness – Rebecca Ann Collins”


    Thank you so much for reviewing this, Meredith!
    This sequel for S&S sounds wonderful! I really must purchase a copy..


    I am looking forward to reading this. I always felt a sense of ‘loose ends’ when I finished reading the original.

    Thanks for posting the review.


    There are so few of these for Sense and Sensibility. I loved your review. I really want to read this book – now more than ever. And Sense and Sensibility isn’t even one of my favorite Austens.


    I skimmed this one because I will be reading this one soon!! I can’t wait because S&S is a favorite of mine!!!


    Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility does leave room for sequels. Thanks for the review.


    I haven’t finished my challenge yet ’cause I chose a movie which hasn’t come out yet :-/
    Only one task to the final goal, anyway.
    Thanks for another great review, Meredith. And … by the way… I like your new colours! 🙂


    Thanks everyone, for the kind words! I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this novel!


    Thank you Meredith, for your kind review. I am very glad that you enjoyed Expectations of Happiness. I’m sure you will be happy to hear that we have had several good reviews ( some of which have been posted on our website- at http://www.rebeccaanncollins.com

    Thanks again and all the best,
    Rebecca Ann Collins.

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