Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood
by Abby McDonald
The Weston patriarch has died shortly after he left his first family and started a new family with a stuck up, petty, selfish woman. While Mr. Weston had worked hard to take care of his first family, he hadn't put anything in writing, so with his death comes the complete loss of funds for his ex-wife and two daughters. The new wife even sells the first family's home out from under them.
Now Valerie, Hallie, and Grace Weston must leave San Francisco and head down to Los Angeles to live in the guest house of a wealthy cousin and his young wife. Not only must they leave their home, they must leave behind all they've ever known.
Valerie sinks herself into her art, while Hallie works to be in the in-crowd in order to make it in Hollywood. As they live in their own worlds, the more pragmatic younger sister, Grace, works to simply get through the day-to-day work of finishing high school and maintaining a part-time job.
For the sisters, life and love loom large.
Final thoughts: This is a retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and really seems to keep a little too tightly to the story. While the author doesn't really use the original names much, she drops them around the story to the point where it's distracting. Hallie's whining gets frustrating at times, but it's tempered by the alternating points of view between her and Grace. I wish the relationships had been a little more fleshed out, with less talking about their talks and more actual talks. However, it's a nice little story with some good moments.