Nov 062011
 
A Truly Outstanding Compilation!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

 

OVERVIEW:

In this magnificent anthology, twenty-four praiseworthy and skilled authors take up their pens to pay homage to one of the most adored and beloved authors of all time. United by their love for Jane Austen, these authors composed stories that are well-crafted, enchanting, and compelling. With stories averaging around twenty pages each in this compilations, plus a section of Jane Austen quotes and discussion questions, this comprehensive tome is sure to fill up many hours of enjoyable reading!

MY READING EXPERIENCE:

There are several types of Austenesque stories to be found in this anthology, the most popular being stories that are Austen-Inspired (eleven stories). These stories don’t necessarily pertain to or involve characters from a Jane Austen novel, yet they have some link, whether it is in theme, subject, or plot that connects them to Jane Austen. Another type of story found in this anthology are Vignettes (five stories), short scenes that could have been written by Jane Austen. The third category I labeled Jane Austen and Her Family (five stories) which includes tales where Jane Austen or someone from her family is the main character. There was one story, “Intolerable Stupidity” by Laurie Viera Rigler, that was so wholly unique that I couldn’t place it in a category!

While reading, I gave each story a rating on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. Here is the breakdown for each rating: 5 stars (fourteen stories), 4 stars (five stories), and 3 stars (three stories).

My average rating was: 4.5!

MY ASSESSMENT:

The stories in this anthology were well-written, inventive, and thoroughly entertaining. It was amazing to see how many diverse and unique ways these authors paid homage to Jane Austen! And what a delight it was to find so many authors I love and admire in one compilation! Overall, I found the vignettes to be my favorite type of story. I loved seeing such creative and plausible scenes, such as Mr. Bennet falling in love with Mrs. Bennet, Maria Lucas’s letters to Lydia, and the story of how Admiral and Mrs. Croft fell in love. Thank you Amanda Grange, Maya Slater, and Margaret C. Sullivan for sharing such excellent stories!

In addition, I also had a few favorites in the Austen-Inspired category. I loved “Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss” by Jo Beverley, “What Would Austen Do?” by Jane Rubino and Caitlin Rubino-Bradway, and “The Love Letter” by Brenna Aubrey. I took great pleasure in the sweet romance and originality of these stories. Lastly, I found Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity,” to be the perfect closing story for this anthology! What a hoot! Just imagine Lady Catherine presiding over a trial where the Darcys are pressing charges against all Austenesque writers and screenplay writers!

CONCLUSION:

If after reading all of Jane Austen’s novels you are still looking for stories where “the liveliest effusions of wit and humor are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language,” then Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the anthology for you! Brava to Laurel Ann Nattress for remarkable job as editor of this project! I hope there will be a second Jane Austen anthology sometime in the near future! (hint hint Random House!)

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5 Comments on "Jane Austen Made Me Do It – Laurel Ann Nattress"

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mskathleen

Excited to read this work… Thanks for sharing!

MonicaP

I just finished reading this and I liked it very much. Some of the stories I thought I’d be like “meh..” about, I ended up loving. There was 1 that I skipped past because I just could not get into it. I’m happy that “What Would Austen Do?” is going to be a full length book; it was one of my faves, along with “Me and Mr Darcy, Again”, and “The Mistletoe Kiss”.

I also hope to see another anthology like this very soon!

Sophia Rose

I have this book coming in the mail and your review has me wishing for it to come sooner rather than later.

Thanks for posting!

Anonymous

I got this and was reading it and came to What Would Austen Do and started laughing out loud. So my DH asks what am I laughing at and I tried to read him the passage (about the Sensitivty Awareness Program) and I could not get the words out because I was laughing. Many types of stories here both historical and current but this is my list topper because just like Lizzy ‘I dearly love a laugh’.
Marian J

Laurel Ann (Austenprose)

Thank you for the lovely review Meredith. I am quite touched by your impressions. I am so pleased you enjoyed it. Such a complement!

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