|Willoughby's Return - Jane Odiwe|
John Charles - Booklist
Odiwe's elegantly stylish writing is seasoned with just the right dash of tart humor, and her latest literary endeavor is certain to delight both Austen devotees and Regency romance readers.
Joceline Bury - Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine
Odiwe’s feeling for Jane Austen’s characters is undeniable – she writes with wit and an enviable lightness of touch, creating a believable world of new possibilities without ever losing sight of the original narrative. Sense and Sensibility is my favourite Austen, and it is quite a treat to have the story continued in such an accomplished and satisfying sequel.
“Willoughby's Return” was appropriately romantic, emotional, and passionate. I commend Jane Odiwe for capturing the essence and excellence of “Sense and Sensibility” and continuing the story in a knowledgeable and sympathetic manner. It is obvious that Ms. Odiwe loves and cares greatly for her characters (even the difficult ones), and I feel that Jane Austen loved her characters the same way. I greatly enjoyed this sequel for “Sense and Sensibility” and look forward to more works from Jane Odiwe.
This is Odiwe’s second Austen sequel, and like Lydia Bennet’s Story she has chosen a character in Marianne Brandon that is ruled by impulse and emotion making for surprise and tension – all good elements to an engaging story that she delivers with confidence and aplomb. Developing younger sister Margaret Dashwood brought youth, vivacity and a bit of rebellion against social dictums to the story. Her romance with Henry Lawrence was an excellent choice as she shared the narrative equally with Marianne and balanced the story. Odiwe’s research and passion for the Regency era shine, especially in her descriptions of the country fair and fashions. It is rewarding to see her develop her own style evocative of Austen but totally modern in its sensibility. A light and enjoyable read, Willoughby’s Return is a charming tale that sweeps you back into Austen’s mannered world of a young girl searching for love and a married woman realizing it.
Jane Austen Centre Online Magazine
Set four years after the close ofSense and Sensibility, Willoughby’s Return starts off apace with a surprise visitor (no, not that one…) plans for a ball and mounting tension in the Brandon household. Marianne Brandon wonders if she has lost that part of herself that used to be so wildly impetuous and romantic. Has marriage and motherhood irrevocably changed the girl that her husband fell in love with… or was he ever in love with her at all? It is possible that he only married her because of her resemblance to his lost love? While their marriage seems outwardly happy, Colonel Brandon’s many extended visits to Eliza Williams and her daughter cause Marianne to wonder if he might find her, so very like her mother, to be his true heart’s home. Meanwhile, at Barton Cottage, Margaret Dashwood prepares for her first grand ball—and an introduction to one on whom all her hopes of future happiness depend. Mrs. Jennings, ever a convenient source of gossip is full of the news of Mrs. Smith’s imminent demise and the return of the Willoughbys to claim Allenham as their own. It is impossible that all should not meet, that relationships and passions once lost should not be rekindled, for Willoughby, too, has not been unaffected by the passing years. Realizing the mistakes of his youth, how he had valued the demands of his pocketbook above those of his heart. Is it too late for true love? Can the past be undone? Are future generations doomed to repeat his mistakes? Fans of will rejoice to find all their old familiar friends (Middletons, Steels, Ferrars and more) once more in “all the old familiar places”. From cozy scenes at Delaford and Barton Cottage to the hectic rush of a Season in London, author Jane Odiwe constructs a compelling tale of love in all its forms. Appealing to all ages, fans of happy endings will be delighted with how the author spins her story, weaving suspense and intrigue into a well-crafted tale that manages to answer the many questions left by the original. True love does conquer all!
A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
Jane Odiwe writes with such eloquence and style that you can’t be helped for thinking that you are reading a Jane Austen book... In characters, plot and style, Willoughby’s Return is so beautifully written, that there is barely a seam between Sense and Sensibilty and Willoughby’s Return.