Updated: Jan 30
About the book: Marianne Dashwood was "born to an extraordinary fate...to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most favorite maxims" (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility). After Willoughby's betrayal, how did Marianne learn to see Colonel Brandon--and herself--in a new light? And how did Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars fare during their first year of marriage? The Year in Between explores the untold year in the last chapter of Sense and Sensibility. Whether you know Austen's novel well, or this is your first introduction to Elinor, Marianne, Edward, and Brandon, I invite you to visit Delaford, where friendship, love, and all the challenges that come with these gifts abound
Review by Christina Boyd: A historical classic, Sense & Sensibility is one of Jane Austen’s best, representing a deeper appreciation of the intensity of her heroines, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, as they experience love, romance, and heartbreak. Author Christina Morland’s The Year in Between reveals the untold year in the last chapter of Sense & Sensibility, but it does much more. It is also a saga of sisters, expanded families, as well as a philosophical exposition on society, the classes, and power exchange from money and marriage, delivered by their two distinct voices:
"A ghost. That is what he is. A ghost who stands in the doorways, making it impossible for me to remember what I had meant to write." –Marianne Dashwood, pp. 20
"If Edward returns from the village before I have a chance to wipe flour from my hands and hair, he will no doubt take on that look of gloom that has settled over him anytime he sees me at work in the house. He is still under the misapprehension that he has married a fine lady; I can only hope he will not be disappointed to find himself with a mediocre housewife instead." –Elinor Ferrars, pp. 64
The continuation of Sense & Sensibility comes alive through the eyes of Marianne Dashwood and her older sister Elinor Dashwood Ferrars, as each heroine struggles under societal rules and financial worries while each learns to love in her next chapter of life and take hold of her own power. If you want epic, Morland certainly delivers with her dense, thoughtful prose. With incredibly in-depth research into the Regency era and Austen’s first published novel, Morland crafts a story that is equal parts brilliant fiction, gut wrenching loss, tantalizing romance, while deeply entrenched in themes from the original masterpiece. “I do not know if God listened—if God ever listens. Sometimes I believe so—and other times, I think my prayers are nothing but words in the wind.”—Edward Ferrars, pp. 453
Morland is known for her incredible storytelling ability, and this novel unfolds through a series of heartbreaking, heartwarming, heart-pounding diary entries, secret letters, unwelcome correspondence, household ledgers and lists, and exceptional dialogue. (Warning: smolder alert anytime Colonel Brandon is on the page.) Also, I know the tendency is to often skim through Austenesque novels because you already know the story. In this case, I would not recommend it! Not a thoughtless word written, each well-intended without appearing so. This sumptuous and wholly original story (at 715 pages) kept me turning pages for four nights straight, well into the wee hours of the morning. Provocative. Elegant. Swoon worthy. I predict The Year in Between makes many “Best of Lists” for 2021.