Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
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!
My average rating was: 4.5!
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!
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!)