Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson

Ladies of the House is a charming, modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility, uprooting us from leafy Derbyshire to the politics and power of Washington D.C.
Daisy, Wallis and their mother are halfway through their Father’s memorial service when a scandal breaks that will change their lives forever. It appears that Senator Richardson had many skeletons in his closet, and they just keep making themselves known.

I personally loved the change in pace that Edmondson introduces through her state-side location. The political corruption and power struggles felt a little bit like Scandal meets Sense and Sensibility (without the torture bits!) but the angle shifted onto how this affects those left in the wake of the corruption.
The novel also felt a little less about romance – but in a good way! Ladies of the House features three strong female lead characters: romance is welcomed but not necessary for them to function (a la. Marianne in S&S), and their main concern is how to rebuild their lives not to find a dashing husband in tights. 
Saying that, Atlas and Daisy’s potential romance kept me hooked throughout the novel and Wallis’ ability to love and love hard just made her grow as a character for me: her vulnerability certainly makes her more endearing as a character towards the end of the novel.

Daisy is our protagonist in this collective of strong women and, like Elinor in S&S, she is the eldest sibling; naturally taking on the role of protector over her mother and younger sister. The entire novel is told from Daisy’s perspective and it is this, I feel, that really causes the reader to connect with Lauren Edmondson’s characters.
Daisy has such a maternal, caring personality that we cannot help but fall in love with her family as much as she does. This does not mean she never feels frustration though! In fact, perhaps the reason Wallis seems to progress from flighty to wearing her heart on her sleeve is merely down to Elinor’s growth, rather than her sister’s? However, we often catch glimpses of Daisy’s relationship with her father and therefore we can also identify the origin of her internal walls- which just makes it all the more satisfactory when she starts to let them down.

The Ladies of the House is Sense and Sensibility for the modern generation with a feminist twist: why should women answer for the actions of their fathers/husbands/lovers directly? Why should these actions shadow their career prospects, or indeed safety? Why can men take things more easily than women? What kind of world can we create for ourselves by just pushing back against these archaic concepts?
A unique, easy read, full of loveable characters! I can’t wait to see what Lauren Edmondson does next.

Thank you to Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this advanced review. 

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