A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott D. Southard

A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott D. SouthardBlurb

All her heroines find love in the end—but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years—did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us—to a greater or lesser degree—are head over heels for Jane.

My Perspective

We bought this book for my Mum for her birthday last year. I found out about it from Christoph Fischer on his blog. You can read about it here. After my Mum had read it, she lent it to me and I just finally got around to reading it!

The story is a fictionalised version of Jane Austen’s life written in an almost tongue in cheek style.

Like I mentioned in my first ever post on this blog, Death Comes To Pemberley by P. D. James, writing about Jane Austen and/or her works can be a big risk. I think that this book does Jane Austen a lot more justice than Death Comes To Pemberley did.

When I first started reading this, I do admit that I did have my defences up and I didn’t really like the way the author portrayed Jane. However after awhile I let it go and I was able to absorb myself into the story.

The story was well written and the author has definitely done his research as the general basis of the story was true and aligned with the facts we know of Jane Austen’s life. It was interesting to see how he fleshed out what we don’t know – some of you may love it and others may hate it.

As I mentioned, at first I didn’t like Jane however she had a huge turning point where she really grew and I quite liked her from that point. She isn’t really how I picture Jane Austen however I enjoyed reading about the authors interpretation of what she was like.

I liked how the author intertwined all of Jane’s novels into the story – making you see how she came up with the experiences for her novels (obviously this is fictional however it was still interesting). I also enjoyed the one liners throughout that are actual quotes from Jane’s novels.

It was a lengthy book and there were some parts I felt dragged and other parts where I could hardly turn the pages fast enough. It also felt slightly modern so I’m not sure what the kind of feel the author was wanting to go for.

Overall I enjoyed the book for what it was and I would recommend it to any one who likes fictionalised retellings of Jane Austen’s life and/or her novels.

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