Monthly Archives: March 2014

BOOK REVIEW: A Jane Austen Miscellany edited by Kristen Maree Cleary & Robin Langley Sommer

“The strength of the relationships between some of the sisters in Jane Austen’s works mirrors the close relationship Austen enjoys with her own sister.” – Page 8

This little hardback book of Jane Austen quotes is a quaint collection of her words around “Sisters, Suitors, Families and Friends” that does itself the disservice of looking unattractive. I found the 1999 Grange Books, DoveTail imprint, published A Jane Austen Miscellany at City Basement Books in Melbourne for the cheap price of $5, and snapped it up happily. I also bought a couple of poetry books (Keats) and a children’s book – all very well priced. Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight

“[Jane Austen] nuanced her way into every aspect of the book, and I just went along for the ride. Austentatious is, in part, a (loosely interpreted) modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and part homage to the wit and timelessness of Ms. Jane Austen.” – Author’s note

Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight was another book I found at the Melton Library when browsing the shelves. IBN: 978-0-7582-6743-6 the quick read kept me company on the train back from work each day for the past week, as I stumbled through it. The initial impression I had was that the tone of writing is strange and takes a while to get used to, perhaps very conversational, very hurried – jumping to conclusions that not everyone would make. With the story located primarily in Austin, Texas, for an English girl like me, and an Australian resident, it was hard to understand some of the concepts of the much-discussed ‘Weird’ t-shirt and other, perhaps cultural, differences. Overall, however, it was a good romance novel for young adults that spans from the realm of magic to sex, Jane Austen and good old fashioned journaling.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

“Jane tucked the letter into the folds of her cloak and looked at him, realizing that in the groom she had found an ally who would not betray her indiscretion.” – Prologue

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I firstly must admit to liking this book against my better judgement. I found a paperback version of Sally Smith O’Rourke’s The Man Who Loved Jane Austen ISBN: 978-0758210371, along with six other Jane Austen-related reads, at my local library (Melton). The small paperback was the second I began reading out of the stack, and I was quickly hooked. Continue reading

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REVIEW: Longbourn by Jo Baker, Pride and Prejudice retold from the servants’ perspective

“She slid a finger over the mantel, laid a hand on the snowy freshness of the linen… She sniffed: beeswax, the tang of vinegar, soft woodsmoke from the crackling fire. ‘Well done. Good girls. You should be proud of that.’”– Longbourn, Jo Baker, page 131

Jo Baker’s Longbourn is everything that a Pride and Prejudice retelling should be – true to Austen, romantic, sensitive, thoughtful and, importantly, original. Bringing a new spin to our beloved Jane Austen’s creation, Baker has spun a story that is so separate and new from the Darcy/Lizzy love story, but that provides you glimpses of the original from a removed viewpoint. Think about this: Who has to wash Elizabeth’s petticoats after she has trudged through the mud?

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