Julie Bestry's Reviews > Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Jane Austen Made Me Do It by Laurel Ann Nattress
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Dec 26, 11

Read from December 24 to 26, 2011

I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but Laurel Ann Nattress did a superb job in selecting these Austen-inspired pieces. Some continue tales of characters we already know and love; others use Austen's life and novels as a springboard for the action.

I was delighted by many of the stories, and the few that did not capture my fancy were nonetheless well-written and carefully thought out. Syrie James' "Jane Austen's Nightmare" was a perfect first tale and set the stage for the stories to come. Reading "The Ghostwriter" immediately after having completed Elizabeth Ashton's novel Writing Jane Austen made me feel as though I'd merely turned a corner in that created world. And the ending of Margaret C. Sullivan's "Heard of You" made me yearn to hear how she might tell the back stories of other minor Austen characters.

I was incredibly dubious -- I'm often disappointed by both short stories and Austen pastiches, but this collection was excessively diverting, as Miss Austen might have said. I can't wait to check out the blogs and Twitter feeds of many of the authors, and it was inspired of Nattress to arrange for their inclusion.
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