“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
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
“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?
“A modern Pride & Prejudice that will rock your world … Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll” – Book cover
I picked up this 2011 modern retelling of our Pride and Prejudice from Glebe’s Sappho Books secondhand for $12 the other week – I spotted it straight away on the shelf (I think my brain is tuned into anything with the words ‘Darcy’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or ‘Bennet’ on it). I have struggled about where to begin with this review as I really enjoyed some aspects of it, and yet completely disliked other parts. Heather Lynn Rigaud has certainly succeeded in writing a book that will divide opinion, and my feelings are definitely mixed. By the end of it, you’ll feel as though you’ve gotten to know all the characters well, but you’ll also feel like you’ve run a marathon. Let me explain.
“The day of the ball allowed no tranquility, no peace of mind. What I had hoped would be a time of sweet anticipation turned rapidly into a nightmare,” – Page 102, Chapter 11
I was honestly blown away by how much I liked this book. The first Austen-inspired book to come from Pamela Mingle (who wrote Kissing Shakespeare), and potentially one of my favourite Mary Bennet remakes out, The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is how I like my Austen fiction written. It may even surpass most other Mary Bennet versions just due to how inkeeping it is with what is expected from Mary, and the multiple pursuits happening within the book – emotional/love pursuits, actual chasing pursuits of scandalous characters and a deeper more personal pursuit for a place and meaning in life.
Dear Mr. Darcy: A Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
I was contacted by Amanda Grange’s publicist with a review copy of Dear Mr Darcy early in late May. Leaping at the chance to have an early read of this book, and to provide readers of The Bennet Sisters with a Q&A from the writer herself, I downloaded my Kindle version and got to reading. Continue reading
The Darcys & the Bingleys: A Tale of Two Gentlemen’s Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters
Firstly, I must apologise for not having blogged in a while. However, this is due to a new addition to my life- my Kindle! I have been ferociously reading and the first book I have completed reading is The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman. I downloaded this eBook for free from Amazon on Jane Austen’s birthday and have only put off reading it due to not having my eReader when planned. It’s available free on Google Books. It was truly a joy to read this 400 page odd sequel.
This is the first long-form non-published fanfiction that I have bothered to read, and I really enjoyed myself. After running into it interestedly over at ‘Mrs. Darcy’s Story Site’ I ended up ploughing quickly through the first few chapters, and then organising time in my mind to read the rest. It’s called ‘Ebb and Flow’, written by a contributer called Ayden in 2007 (she also wrote ‘The Great Game’). The way it is written is prosaic, with nice embellishments here and there to describe different emotions and for scenic value, which makes it a very easy read that suits this retelling style of fiction very well. It does not require an intimate knowledge of Pride and Prejudice itself as the storyline is modernized and very altered, but the characters remain organic and fresh, despite being obvious representations of their Regency counterparts. Continue reading