The blurb and reviews states that this book was inspired by The Scarlet Letter and also Margaret Atwood's The Handmaids Tale. Did anyone notice any other literary associations sprinkled throughout the text?
Join Date: 10/24/12
Join Date: 08/16/11
Aidan's pseudonym, Edward Ferrars, is the name of a clergyman in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Edward forms an attachment with Elinor Dashwood, who is reserved and sensible (personifying the "sense" in the book's title). Hannah comments several times that Aidan's wife, Alyssa, is more like Elinor Dashwood than Hannah is, which is true. Hannah is more like the passionate Marianne Dashwood, Elinor's sister (who personifies the "sensibility" in the book's title). But I think it's worth noting that Aidan bears almost no resemblance to Jane Austen's description of Edward Ferrars early in the book as someone who didn't have "any particular graces of person or address," was naturally shy, was not handsome, and "was neither fitted by abilities nor disposition to answer the wishes of his mother and sister, who longed to see him distinguished—as—they hardly knew what." Aidan is a charismatic preacher on the world stage and is handsome and personable. That makes him more like Willoughby, the dashing but inconstant suitor of Marianne Dashwood. So even though Hannah chose the name Edward Ferrars for Aidan, and she dreamed of being his Elinor, in the end their relationship was doomed to failure like that of Marianne and Willoughby.
Join Date: 04/12/12
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