It's an interesting family dynamic to be a middle sister. It's like the best of both worlds: I get an older sister to mother and protect me and a younger sister that I can try to nurture and influence, as if she were my daughter. Before my younger sister died, we had a saying: "There's no friend like a sister." I'd like to add that "there's no friend like a little sister." She used to put me on a pedestal--no matter what stupid thing that I would ever do, she always believed in me. Any book, movie or song I ever liked, my sister would run out and purchase for herself, so that we could "relate" to each other. I have always done the same with my big sister. I try to impress her with my knowledge of the music from her "Summer of Love" generation. Not only have I tried to emulate my older sister: I am her biggest fan.
"What's this have to do with Jane Austen?" you might be asking. My little sister and I loved Sense and Sensibility. We often said that I was "sensibility" because of my caution and practicality and she was "sense" with her heady ideas of love. She told me once, "You want to be safe and secure in love, but I like the roller coaster ride." Doesn't she sound like Marianne in Jane Austen's book? There is a scene in the book that my sister and I once talked about: Marianne is critically ill, on the brink of death, and Elinor, at her bedside, totally breaks down. She practically demands that Marianne stay alive: "Would you break mother's heart? Would you break mine?" I told my sister that I'd react the same way if anything ever happened to her. Little did we know that a few years later, our lives would mimic this scene. My sister was in Intensive Care for six months and I often thought of Marianne when I visited the hospital. Austen's fictional character was spared; but my real life one wasn't. I wrote and dedicated this book to the memory of my little sister:
Nonsense and Sensibility: A Modern Austen Variation
by Louise Hathaway
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