Austenesque Lovers TBR Pile Reading Challenge 2016 discussion

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Assorted & Sundry Matters > Group Read- July

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message 1: by Sophia (last edited Jun 03, 2016 05:52PM) (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
For this month the book is Rebecca Ann Collin's Expectations of Happiness. Thank you for all those who helped choose by your votes on the poll.

All you have to do is leave a comment that you plan to join the group read, then take the month of July to read the book.
Feel free to make comments or ask questions here in the Group Read Discussion along the way.
Then at the end of the month or whenever you finish, feel free to leave your final thoughts.

If your thoughts or questions might be spoilerish then just designate the top of your comment as such.


This is not mandatory for the challenge, but just a fun option within the challenge.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandabookworm) | 57 comments I'm in for the July Group Read. I actually bought "Expectations of Happiness" at a used bookstore a couple of months ago, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet.


message 3: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Yay, Amanda!

I'm in, too. :)


message 4: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments Sounds good to me. I'm in!


message 5: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments I'm in and the Boston Public Library has multiple copies!


message 6: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 277 comments Just ordered it so should have it on time. Was going to skip July as my TBR pile is threatening to take over the house :) But when I saw the book I had to join in. Love S&S and need to know what happened to them all. (And couldn't bear not to be in on the discussion)!!!


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary | 452 comments Never realised there was a sequel to S&S nor did I hear of this author before. So please count me in as I'm looking forward to reading this book and discovering what befell the Dashwood ladies!


message 8: by Claudine (new)

Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 | 224 comments Yes, Mary. I just read one titled "Willoughby's Return." I will review it soon... Nice read! It was great to spend time with all those characters once again!


message 9: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Yay, glad to have you all joining us.

There aren't as many S&S variations and sequels, but there are a few. I haven't tried this author either so I'm glad the book got several votes.

I'll look forward to that review, Claudine as I love Jane's books. :)


message 10: by Claudine (new)

Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 | 224 comments Thanks Sophia! Have you read it?


message 11: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Nope! This is new one for me both author and book. It will be a reading adventure. :)


message 12: by Claudine (new)

Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 | 224 comments Sounds terrific!


message 13: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen | 91 comments New for me too! Author and book I am having a hard time finding it


message 14: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 277 comments My copy of Expectations of Happiness arrived today so I'm all set for July. It looks really good and I can't wait to start.


message 15: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Gretchen wrote: "New for me too! Author and book I am having a hard time finding it"

If you don't mind used, it's up at Amazon, BAM and Half.com marketplaces for about $4 including s/h. Some libraries are carrying it. It's also a KU ebook that can be borrowed through Amazon.

Hope that helps, Gretchen.


message 16: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 277 comments It's also on Kindle Gretchen but it is a bit pricey.


message 17: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen | 91 comments Great! I will keep trying !


message 18: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 188 comments might have to pass. thought I had book but can't find it. also going on vacation in July


message 19: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
How frustrating not being able to find the book, but the vacation is a fantastic reason to pass on the group read. Have a great time, Patricia!


message 20: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Blind Date with Expectations of Happiness

Well, we're off on another group read. I'm excited that it is tackling Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility through a follow up sequel.

First question, what are your pre-read impressions (buzz about the book/author, a S&S sequel, cover, blurb)


message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary | 452 comments I like the cover of this book,the ladies are very relaxed in each other's company abs are apparently happy to while away the hours reading and conversing with one another.
I know this is a sequel to S&S,but apart from that I know very little else about it.I didn't even realise there was s sequel until I saw the post here,for the July group read. Am looking forward to it though,as this is the first group read I'm participating in! Looking forward to the discussions,different view points,that we,as a group,are well able to express!!!


message 22: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 277 comments Same here Mary. Didn't know it existed till it was picked for the challenge. It's good to have a sequel to something other than P&P. And it sounds really good.


message 23: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments I'd never heard of this book, either, and probably would not even have it on my TBR pile if not for the group read. S&S is probably my least favorite Austen novel. If I were Elinor, I think I would just start screaming at her sister and mother, and certainly at Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Palmer. She's way more patient than I could ever be!

Marianne doesn't deserve a man as fine as Colonel Brandon. I'm glad she finally grew up, but I don't see that her essential nature can stay subdued forever. It will be interesting to see if she continues to value Brandon as he deserves, or whether she'll get swayed by Willoughby again.

Margaret stays so far in the background that a sequel can present her character almost any way and not clash with canon.

I do like the atmosphere created by the cover. The casual intimacy pictured among the three sisters is very appealing, isn't it?


message 24: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandabookworm) | 57 comments I found this book at a store that sells used books a few months ago, so I got it and it went in my TBR pile. How lucky for me that it ended up being picked for a group read! I've always wondered what could have happened to the feisty Margaret Dashwood once she grew up. I'll have to see if I "agree" with the author's ideas. I'm planning on starting it on Monday.


message 25: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
This is my first encounter with an S&S sequel though I've read other S&S JAFF. I've heard of this author because of her long standing P&P sequel series, but didn't realize she'd written this one until late last year.
S&S was the Austen work that left me with more questions than answers when it concluded. If I had to pick one of her books that I felt needed an epilogue it was this one. I wanted to see how the match between Col. B & Marianne went and how Margaret was when she grew up. If Willoughby were to re-enter the picture, how that would shake things up. Yep, lots of questions.
I hope I'm not putting too much expectation on this author. LOL But that's what I'm hoping for from our read.


message 26: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Debbie wrote: "I'd never heard of this book, either, and probably would not even have it on my TBR pile if not for the group read. S&S is probably my least favorite Austen novel. If I were Elinor, I think I would..."

Sophia wrote: "This is my first encounter with an S&S sequel though I've read other S&S JAFF. I've heard of this author because of her long standing P&P sequel series, but didn't realize she'd written this one un..."

Jane Odiwe dealt very well with these issues in "Willoughby's Return". The intro contained Marianne "bashing" and I'm not happy!!!!! Team Marianne!!!! However, Margaret was the main character of my sequel read back in 95/96...."The Third Sister" and I'm hoping to love this Margaret(spoiler: so far so good) too.


message 27: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Debbie wrote: "I'd never heard of this book, either, and probably would not even have it on my TBR pile if not for the group read. S&S is probably my least favorite Austen novel. If I were Elinor, I think I would..."

Oh noes.....as a card carrying member of Team Marianne I must state that Marianne(my favorite heroine!!!!!) and Col B(my 3rd or 4th fav hero) complete each other and will be very happy together. :)


message 28: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Kirk wrote: "Debbie wrote: "I'd never heard of this book, either, and probably would not even have it on my TBR pile if not for the group read. S&S is probably my least favorite Austen novel. If I were Elinor, ..."

That one's on the list, too. I like her writing.


message 29: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Sophia wrote: "Kirk wrote: "Debbie wrote: "I'd never heard of this book, either, and probably would not even have it on my TBR pile if not for the group read. S&S is probably my least favorite Austen novel. If I ..." :)


message 30: by Ceri (new)

Ceri | 224 comments I actually have this book on my kindle already, I'll try to join in if I have time to read it.

I'm currently listening to Sense & Sensibility on my commutes so it might be a good time to read something based on that book.

I have been thinking of you while I've been listening to S&S, Kirk. You are my good reading buddy and I respect your opinions but I don't get what you (or Colonel Brandon) see in Marianne!


message 31: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments Agreed, Ceri!


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandabookworm) | 57 comments I have a daughter named after Marianne Dashwood, so I'm definitely "Team Marianne". (I was going to go with Jane, but it was already taken by another family member).


message 33: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Debbie wrote: "Agreed, Ceri!"

Hmmmph!!!!!! Pox on both your houses!!!! Just kidding...sorta...well...grrrrr!!!!! I feel like channeling Dan Stevens in S&S '08...when explaining to his darling sister(not that I'm comparing you Marianne bashers to his sister on this subject....hehehehe) the importance of libraries..."Marianne bashers let me try to explain....there should be such direct passionate open wild flowers loving nature without reserve or filter(I love dead leaves too!!!!!!!!)"....and and and and.........ok I wish she was abit more civil(channeling Brendan Coyle speaking to Richard Armitage in North and South 2004) to Sir John and Mrs Jennings. And TMI...As I have bored people with many times, I found Austen near the age of Col Brandon...etc etc


message 34: by Kirk (last edited Jul 03, 2016 09:56AM) (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Amanda wrote: "I have a daughter named after Marianne Dashwood, so I'm definitely "Team Marianne". (I was going to go with Jane, but it was already taken by another family member)."

That rocks!!!!!!!!! Thank you Amanda! Even before meeting Marianne Dashwood, I have loved loved loved the name based on school and post school crushes.


message 35: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments OK, folks, just to clarify: I'm not really on team ANTI-Marianne. I love her passionate and intense response to beauty in nature and music and poetry. I just find her immature throughout S&S, and at the end of that story she hasn't yet proven to me that she's grown out of it completely. I don't hate her, but her overdramatic oversensitivity when it comes to herself and her lack of sensitivity when it comes to Elinor bugs the sh*t out of me. She's still young and acts young compared to Brandon, who's a very stable, mature man. Perhaps in this book she will prove she's grown out of it. I can only hope!


message 36: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandabookworm) | 57 comments I do think there are many similarities between Marianne Dashwood and Lydia Bennet. They are both of a romantic mindset, though it turned out better for Marianne. Marianne definitely has faults that lead her into disastrous situations. I think Marianne's heartbreak over Willoughby causes a change of heart that allows her to see Colonel Brandon more clearly. It will be interesting to see if she has maintained that change. It's clear from comments that Marianne is the one who seems to be the most inconstant of the Dashwood sisters.


message 37: by Debbie (last edited Jul 03, 2016 02:43PM) (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments Interesting, Amanda. Can't help noticing there are a number of books about the future of Lydia and Wickham, but not that many that I know of (not that I've specifically looked!) about the future of Marianne and Brandon. Unfortunately for Lydia, she's married to someone who probably isn't going to care enough about her to nurture her into a mature adult, while Marianne has the advantage of marriage to someone who certainly does care about her and should be a calming influence.


message 38: by Mary (new)

Mary | 452 comments I agree with you,Debbie,that she's luckier than Lydia. However I don't feel she realises how lucky she is. She settled for Col.Brandon,she 'did him the favour' of marrying him,his love and faithfulness are the least that she deserves.
She feels,IMHO,that were she married to W,that she would be romantically happy, and that her lifetime's ambition,her poetic dreams of what a happy marriage ought to be,would be fulfilled.
I don't think she realises his true nature or the grief he caused Eliza Williams,if she does,and he offered her an opportunity to be with him,then I think she'd happily accept,especially when she is feeling so vulnerable and alone.


message 39: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments Well, I also wonder how much of Brandon's fascination with Marianne is her similarity to the woman he loved when HE was a younger and possibly less mature man. It's easy to romanticize our memories of someone we loved. Could he be transferring those feelings to her rather than truly being in love with her? And enjoying the opportunity to "save" her when he couldn't do that in the past? It's just another unknown factor that makes me wary of their marital happiness together.


message 40: by Mary (new)

Mary | 452 comments Brilliant!!! Never thought of that!! Yes! I agree with you on that score. She's his second chance to rectify all that went wrong with his first love. Seeing as he's double her age,she probably represents his last chance at a family and marriage. Maybe he's blinded,like you suggested,by the image of his first love and transfers all the love he felt for her onto Marianne.Can just imagine his suffocating this 'love' could be.


message 41: by Claudine (new)

Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 | 224 comments That was explored in Jane Odiwe's "Willoughby Returns." Colonel Brandon was deeply affected by his first love, so yes, he may transfer some of those feelings to Marianne as well.


message 42: by Debbie (last edited Jul 03, 2016 05:25PM) (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments That's one I was interested to read mostly because I have high respect for Jane Odiwe's writing. Perhaps I'll have to move it further up on my TBR pile.


message 43: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Debbie wrote: "OK, folks, just to clarify: I'm not really on team ANTI-Marianne. I love her passionate and intense response to beauty in nature and music and poetry. I just find her immature throughout S&S, and a..."

Ok, 50 point esteem points returned(out of....hmmm)!


message 44: by Debbie (last edited Jul 03, 2016 07:45PM) (new)

Debbie (dmbrown) | 849 comments Hey, Kirk, I never took any esteem points from you for loving Marianne so much! But I'm glad to hear I've earned some back from you!


message 45: by Claudine (new)

Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 | 224 comments Yes, Debbie, it may be an interesting read closer to this one. I think S&S has so many great themes to explore!


message 46: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandabookworm) | 57 comments So many interesting points being made. I never thought about Col Brandon projecting his lost love on Marianne. He certainly seems to have a soft spot for girls below his class who are in a difficult situation.
My hope for Marianne is that she learned that love doesn't have to be an all-consuming fire. With Col Brandon, she would have a mature love that is a steadily burning flame. We shall see.


message 47: by Kirk (new)

Kirk (goodreadscomkirkc) | 143 comments Debbie wrote: "Hey, Kirk, I never took any esteem points from you for loving Marianne so much! But I'm glad to hear I've earned some back from you!"

:) Team Marianne members don't grade on a
curve!!! Most of the points were lost when you agree with Ceri's stunning attack!(she's now out of my top ten favorite
Janeite list...j/k sorta well...)


message 48: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 188 comments Sophia wrote: "How frustrating not being able to find the book, but the vacation is a fantastic reason to pass on the group read. Have a great time, Patricia!"

Thank you! :)


message 49: by Ceri (new)

Ceri | 224 comments Kirk wrote: "Most of the points were lost when you agree with Ceri's stunning attack!(she's now out of my top ten favorite
Janeite list...j/k sorta well...)"


It wasn't an attack, I was just interested, because I don't get it! I am liking her more than I did the last time I read the book (which was a loooong time ago - and teenage Ceri wasn't always the kindest judge of character!). She's made me roll my eyes a few times though, and that's not great when you're listening to an audio book while you're driving ;) No crashes yet though!

I love her passion and enthusiasm but it's the lack of consideration for others that I struggle with I think. That being said, her somewhat oblivious nature is sometimes a good thing. On my commute home today I was listening to a scene where Lucy Steele (hate her) says something to take a dig at Marianne and not only does M. not notice, she replies with something that inadvertently takes a dig at Lucy. It was a fantastic scene, and very amusing for the reader :)


message 50: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) | 1167 comments Mod
Ugh, Lucy! I wonder if our sequel will have her in it. Might be interesting...


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