Mar 272010
 

A Brilliant Continuation of an Unfinished Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

It is always regrettable when a great author, composer, or artist leaves an unfinished work, especially when that work has the potential to become a masterpiece. Jane Austen began penning the novel Sanditon or, “The Brothers” as it was originally titled, during the last few months of her life. It was unfortunately abandoned around chapter eleven due to her declining health. In these precious chapters we are introduced to a new seaside resort called Sanditon, an emerging community that offers seaside pleasures such as sea-bathing and picturesque walks. In addition, this fragment is brimming with Austen’s customary array of diverting characters along with her ironic and satirical tone which is more biting and burlesque than ever!

Fortunately for us Janeites, several authors have attempted to continue this remarkable and promising fragment and have fleshed it out into a complete novel. These authors include: Julia Barrett, Helen Baker, Juliette Shapiro, and the one this review is for “Another Lady.” Another Lady (presumed to be a Marie Dobbs) continues the story of Sanditon where Jane Austen left off. Ms. Dobbs is quite excelled at capturing the satire and wicked wit of Jane Austen. Furthermore, she brilliantly maintained Jane Austen’s cleverly crafted characters and the concluded it all as if it was predesignated by Austen, herself.

If you are apprehensive about the consistency of switching authors mid-book, you need not worry. I found it very hard to decipher where Jane Austen left off and where Ms. Dobbs began. Moreover, I don’t think I have ever read any Jane Austen Fan Fiction, sequel, or para-literature that has come as close to emulating Jane Austen’s style, tone, and language as this continuation.

Our heroine, Charlotte Heywood, at the age of twenty-two, is invited to enjoy a summer holiday in Sanditon by a Mr. and Mrs. Parker, who met Charlotte as a result of their carriage accident near her home. Charlotte is a sensible and observant young woman who, occasionally, can be a little too quick in her judgments and perceptions. In Sanditon, she makes many new acquaintances with a wide variety of personalities and demeanors to practice her skills of observation and perception on such as: a family of hypochondriacs, a self-proclaimed lothario, and a lively young man who is a master at manipulating and managing his family and friends. Poor Charlotte discovers that whenever she is around this lively young man – the handsome, teasing, and charming Sidney Parker – her levelheadedness and sensibleness dissipates. It seems as though the sensible and cautious Charlotte is in for a little unexpected romance on her summer holiday…

Sanditon by Jane Austen and Another Lady is an exceptional continuation that was accomplished with great finesse, adroitness, and homage. I consider this book a MUST-read for Jane Austen fans!

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  8 Responses to “Sanditon – Jane Austen and Another Lady”

  1.  

    Ii read this one! I really liked it.

  2.  

    I must get this! The only continuation I read was so disapponting while this one sounds actually very good. Thanks, Meredith!

  3.  

    Meredith – I believe you already know that this is the book that got me hooked on Austen fan fiction in the first place. I’m so happy you loved it too! MUST-read indeed!

  4.  

    Thank you for the kind words, everyone!

    Maria, I hope you enjoy this one. I highly recommend it!

  5.  

    I’ve always wanted to read Sanditon and your review clinches it for me! 🙂

    I love your blog and I’m so glad I found it! Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog too 🙂

  6.  

    Thank you for visiting, Kals! I hope you enjoy Sanditon. I’m determined to read Anne of Green Gables by this summer, is looks like a charming novel!

  7.  

    I am reading and loving Sanditon at the moment. I will keep this sequel in mind when I am ready to read one – thanks for the review!

  8.  

    Isn’t it just wonderful! If only Jane Austen could have finished it!

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