The Dashwood sisters tell all : a modern-day novel of Jane Austen
Ellen and Mimi Dodge have never been close. But their mother’s dying wish sends them on a walking tour of Hampshire, England, that follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen. Their mother alsol eft them something else: a diary that belonged to Jane’s sister Cassandra. These pages, hidden for centuries, shed light on the secrets that nearly tore the Austen sisters apart and inspired one of the greatest love stories of all time.
It’s well-known that Jane’s letters to her sister Cassandra gave us most of what we know about the reclusive author. But Cassandra’s diary brings Jane to life in a way no one has ever seen before: through the eyes of her sister. As the Dodge sisters journey together on the walking tour, they visit sites that were important to the Austen sisters-from Chawton Cottage to Winchester Cathedral-and they are drawn together in ways they never expected.
They also discover that Cassandra’s diary holds more than unknown secrets of Austen’s life; it is a treasure map that ultimately leads them to the holy grail of Austen lore, Jane Austen’s own secret diary. But someone doesn’t want the Dodge sisters to discover the truth. Mrs. Parrot-a member of the Formidables, a secret society dedicated to protecting Austen’s secrets-is determined to get her hands on Jane’s diary, and will stop at nothing to keep Ellen and Mimi from finding it first. As they stumble along their own journeys twoard love, the sisters discover how Jane and Cassandra inspired the original Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, and come to realize that despite their very different personalities, they are a vital part of each other’s happy endings.