I've always wished a second chance for Marianne Dahwood and John Willoughby. I've never totally accepted the common judgement of Willoughby as a dashing scoundrel, a libertine. Then, let's say that Jane Odiwe made my dream come true: Willoughby returns into Marianne's life now that she is Mrs Brandon as well as little James's mother.
Three years later, when she has put her heartbreak over him in the past, Willoughby comes back with all his charming ways. He is as roguish and as much in love with her as ever. The timing couldn't be worse: Colonel Brandon is often away, in Lyme, to take care of his ward Eliza Williams and the little girl she had from Willoughby, Lizzy. Marianne is terribly jealous and feels neglected . The temptation of her previous passionate love is incredibly powerful.
A parallel plot follows Margaret's romance with Henry Lawrence . Margaret is Marianne and Elinor's younger sister , Henry is Brandon's nephew and John Willoughby's friend. Their story actually recalls Marianne's and Willoughby's unfortunate love.. They hit it off immediately but, suddenly, Henry changes his attitude to Margaret and everybody around her starts speaking about Henry's engagement with a beautifulFrench girl from his past, Mademoiselle Antoinette de Fontenay. Will she be luckier than her beloved sister? Will she be turned down like Marianne?
This lovely sequel to "Sense and Sensibility"revisits the beautiful places where we first met the Dashwoods, The Ferrars, Mrs Jennings, The Palmers, Willoughby and his rich wife Sophia, Eliza Williams and The Steele sisters. We are back to Barton Cottage, Delaford, London and Lyme.
The journey of some of the charachters may result quite repetitive (i.e. Marianne's jealousy for her husband's caring interest in Eliza and her Lizzy) but the language is skillfully crafted, pleasant and refined. In the end we are left with the impression that our heroes and heroines got what they deserved at last. And , especially, we feel that the young fascinating rogue in the title is not as bad as we - and many characters in the novel - had believed him to be.
Marianne is sure: " ..she had loved him once, and he had proved that his love for her was genuine"
What about the other characters? Colonel Brandon? Too good to be true. Mrs Jennings? Less sparkling than in S&S. Edward and Elinor? Could a match be ever more boring? The Steele sisters? Poisonous gossips!
This review is my fourth task in the Everything Austen Challenge II and my second read for the Jane Austen is My Homegirl reading challenge.