Feb 122016
 

Jane Austen Lives AGainJane Austen is Alive in 1925!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

While suffering greatly from the disease that would take her life, Jane Austen learns that her doctor, Dr. Lyford, is conducting some pioneer studies on immortal jellyfish and transdifferentiation. In a secret attempt to cheat death, Jane and Cassandra consult with Dr. Lyford about using his knowledge to cure Jane Austen’s illness or possibly extend her life a little. The study unfortunately took a bit longer than expected, and several generations later in the year 1925, Jane Austen is finally able to resume life among the living! (Our dream come true, right?)

In order to support herself, Jane Austen takes a position as a governess to five young girls in a crumbling estate in Devon. The only thing is, this isn’t a typical governess position, and Jane Austen’s young charges are a good deal older than expected. But our dear Jane is made of stern stuff and has courage that rises with every attempt of intimidation. πŸ˜‰ Jane takes on the discordant and troubled Milton family and tries to be the friend, supporter, and guide they all need. With such a large task on her hands, Jane is fearful her time to write more novels may be in short supply. But that may be the least of her worries as an unexpected suitor comes onto the scene and tries to win her heart…

Oh my! What a sensational and supremely original story! Jane Odiwe, who we’ve seen play with time-slipping and magical phenomena before, has taken her creativity to a new level with this brilliant original tale about Jane Austen as a governess and alive in the 1920s. Not only do readers have the special treat of seeing dear Jane as a main character, but the young people in this story all bear some resemblance to characters from Jane Austen’s novels. While none of them share the same name or exactly the same personality and situations, it is quite a diversion for the reader to spot characters who remind them of Colonel Brandon, Anne Elliot, Mr. Knightley, and Elizabeth Bennet. Some characters are pretty easy to figure out, but others, especially those who might be a mix of two characters, took some time and pondering. It was quite a lovely to see so many Jane Austen personalities in one setting!

I can’t really pinpoint what I loved most about the story, because I loved it all! I loved the large cast of characters and seeing their interactions, I loved seeing Jane Austen adapt to a new time period, way of life, and job, and I loved observing how through her little ideas and nudges Jane made the lives better of all those around her. I felt that this was just like her. That it would be her way to be so instrumental and have such an impact on all those around her.

In addition, I thought Jane Odiwe executed this clever and complex premise masterfully. With so many characters to juggle, crisscrossing storylines, and the scientific breakthrough of immortal life, this story could have felt a little fantastical and overwhelming. I commend Ms. Odiwe for taking all these elements and skillfully finding a way to make them come together so harmoniously. Readers who are familiar with this author’s previous works, will know that she writes with a very artistic eye and her novels usually include lush descriptions and vibrant details. So many scenes in this book effortlessly popped into my mind – the dresses, the estates, the dances – all in vivid color and detail. Such visually stimulating prose!

With Jane Austen being alive in the 1920’s and earning her keep as a governess, Jane Austen Lives Again sometimes felt like Downton Abbey meets Mary Poppins/Sound of Music (which are some of my favorite things!). It was a wonderful blend of history, fiction, and fairy tale! Absorbing, ingenious, and immensely satisfying – you definitely don’t want to miss Jane Austen Lives Again!

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  22 Responses to “Jane Austen Lives Again – Jane Odiwe”

  1.  

    I’m reading it right now and having a great time!

  2.  

    Hi Meredith, you know me, i love my Regency period and don’t like it tampered with but i have read all of Jane’s books and have loved them all, she is a brilliant storyteller. She always makes the reader feel as if they are in the story so will definitely be reading this and after such a wonderful review, how can i not?!x

    •  

      If you enjoyed her other time-slip novels – Project Darcy and Searching for Captain Wentworth, you will love this one, my dear friend! πŸ˜‰ You are absolutely correct about feeling as if you are in the story! She truly is a very talented author!

  3.  

    It’s on my TBR pile.

  4.  

    Tantalizing review. This is on my Wish List. Quite an interesting concept. I like when a reader has to use their knowledge of Jane Austen’s books to determine on whom a character is based.

  5.  

    Oh Meredith this book was absolutely fabulous! Great review and great fun in reading. I agree it was fun identifying certain characters from Jane Austen’s books and the lush descriptions, especially of the scene in Mrs. Milton’s bedroom and bath were beautiful indeed. This is a keeper and a re-reader for sure!!!

    •  

      I agree, Carole! It would be fun to discuss with others who’ve read this book which characters they thought of – I bet different readers will have different interpretations. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for checking out my review, my friend!

  6.  

    This sounds splendid. Already had it on my wish list since this is an auto-buy author, but now I’m extra eager.

    •  

      πŸ™‚ I think you will love it, Sophia! I used to name Searching Captain Wentworth as my favorite by Jane Odiwe, but now I’m not sure if this book takes that title now!

  7.  

    A beautiful and original premise!. It would have been fantastic if Jane Austen had met the People of Downton Abbey! . It’s a suggestion, Jane Odiwe… LOL. I’ve enjoyed your review Meredith πŸ™‚

    •  

      Thank you, Teresa! I’d love to see Lady Mary meet the likes of Caroline Bingley! LOL! And I could easily see Elizabeth and Lady Sybil getting on famously with one another!

  8.  

    Such a delightful story!! Thanks, Jane and Meredith πŸ™‚

  9.  

    Meredith, I’m utterly overwhelmed by your wonderful review – thank you so much! Thank you all for the lovely comments – if you get a chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it! Teresa – LOL – it’s very tempting, but I think Julian Fellowes might have something to say if I did that!

  10.  

    I love Jane Odiwe’s work! Every time I read one of her books I’m glad I had the chance to do it! Your review is excellent, Meredith, and I would love it if we could all meet our dear Jane in person! πŸ™‚

  11.  

    I’ve just started this one. Have had it on my TBR pile for awhile but Meredith’s review has made me finally pick it up and have a go. I see Meredith that it’s very popular on Good Reads.

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