Time travel and Jane Austen romance meld into an interesting novel seeped in amazing research of the era and of Austen's family. Stuart Bennett knowsTime travel and Jane Austen romance meld into an interesting novel seeped in amazing research of the era and of Austen's family. Stuart Bennett knows his Austen lore and expresses it beautifully, creating a fictionalized romance for Austen and the time traveler who is interwoven into her life. I recommend Lord Moira's Echo to readers who are ardent Austen fans and crave a fictionalized "what if" of her life. ...more
In 1791, fifteen year old Jane Austen travels to Kent to celebrate the engagement of her elder brother Edward to Elizabeth Bridges of Goodnestone ParkIn 1791, fifteen year old Jane Austen travels to Kent to celebrate the engagement of her elder brother Edward to Elizabeth Bridges of Goodnestone Park. Next door is the worldly, intelligent, and devilishly handsomely Edward Taylor who sweeps her off her feet and into the new realm of love and romance. While the month-long festivities throw them together, Jane experiences her first tugs of love that may have inspired her future writing.
After discovering the real Edward Taylor mentioned in Jane Austen's letters, Syrie James crafted a captivating story full of references to Austen's life, family and writing. If you thought the movie Becoming Jane was a great possible romance for Austen, your will be blown away by the accurate historical context, endearing characters and laugh-out-loud humor in Jane Austen's First Love. James channels Austen with such confidence and keen ear, that I never doubt her for a moment.
I didn't think it was possible to surpass her first novel. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, but James has reached a new pinnacle as a Nonpareil in Austen-inspired and historical fiction. Jane Austen's First Love is the perfect summer read and I recommend it highly.
Jane Austen’s minor character Mary Bennet is not exactly heroine material. With only eight passages of dialogue in Pride and Prejudice she has made aJane Austen’s minor character Mary Bennet is not exactly heroine material. With only eight passages of dialogue in Pride and Prejudice she has made a lasting impression on readers over the centuries as a pious young woman who often insensitively offers advice of “threadbare morality” to her family at the most inopportune moments. Author Eucharista Ward has taken a bold step in devoting an entire novel to this pedantic and socially clueless young lady. She is not the first to tread this path. Last year Janeites were dishonored with Colleen McCullough’s irreverent treatment, The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet. In both instances, Mary Bennet has been given a make-over. However, two novels could not be farther from honorable intent. While McCullough mocked the Austen sequel industry, Ward embraces it with integrity and reverence. Happily, A Match for Mary Bennet has brought Austen’s character back into the fold and rescued her from the fiery depths of sequel Hell.
Previously self published in 2007 as Illusions and Ignorance: Mary Bennet’s Story, this new edition by major Jane Austen sequel publisher Sourcebooks fortunately bring this wonderful story to a wider audience. Publisher’s description:
"Written by a Franciscan nun, this is a sympathetic tale of the middle Bennet sister from Pride and Prejudice. Pious Mary Bennet tries to do her duty in the world as she thinks God envisions it. Initially believing (mistakenly) that her sister Elizabeth married well only in order to provide for her sisters, Mary is happy to be relieved of the obligation to marry at all so that she can continue her faithful works. But she begins to have second thoughts after further studying marriage through her sisters’ experiences as well as spending time with two young men. One is a splendid young buck whose determined courtship must have ulterior motives; the other is a kindly, serious young clergyman whose friendship Mary values more and more. One day she realizes that God very much made man and woman to be together…but which is the man for her?"
Prim, judgmental and pedantic, Mary’s evolution throughout the course of the book is surprising as she soon discovers that there is more to life than her Godly studies, music and books. The author has an excellent understanding of Austen’s style emulating it reverently, placing the story within a historically context of the era with aplomb. Many of Austen’s characters from Pride and Prejudice reappear: her sisters Jane, Elizabeth, Kitty (Catherine) and Lydia, her parent’s the Bennet’s, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Georgiana and Lady Catherine. We also meet two new men that change Mary’s perspective on what she thinks God intends for her life: the dashing rakish James Stilton who courts Mary with determination and charm, and the stoic young clergyman Charles Oliver who wins her friendship and respect by understanding and enlightenment. If she chooses her head over her heart is never much in question. After all, a woman’s “reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful — and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.” Even if the outcome is predictable, the ride is quite enjoyable.
Where others have failed in expanding her character, Ward has given Mary Bennet depth and interest, allowing readers to see her faults, understand their origins, and rejoice in her evolution towards enlightenment and happiness. My only quibbles are that in Ward’s new world, poor Colonel Fitzwilliam is destined for a life of misery after succumbing to Caroline Bingley’s fortune and marrying her, and that the pacing at times was slow and too introspective. The first is indicative of the era, and the second is actually who Mary Bennet was at the beginning. If the author had allowed Mary to be more succinct toward the end, it would have showed a nice character development. After all, “every impulse of feeling should be guide by reason”!
In this contemporary re-imagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Teri Wilson has succeeded in updating this classic story by placing it in theIn this contemporary re-imagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Teri Wilson has succeeded in updating this classic story by placing it in the dog show world in England. Her characterization are both fresh and reverent and the plot was as charming and romantic as the original. Brava!