Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Hold on to your bonnet’s, Janeites – this new Austenesque tale by Jennifer Petkus creates a world where many of our Janeite wishes come true!
- Wish #1 – Jane Austen can communicate with us! An invention call the Afternet (similar to Internet) allows the dead (or disembodied, as they prefer to be called) to communicate with the living.
- Wish #2 – A new release by Miss Jane Austen! First thing Jane does when she is able to communicate with the world is finish her fragment of Sanditon and seek a publisher! (Thank you, Jane!)
- Wish #3 – Jane becomes a part of the Jane Austen community! She goes on a national book tour, reads blogs, and attends both the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and the JASNA Annual General Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas! (Could you imagine?!?)
Sounds like enormous fun, doesn’t it? Well…it most definitely is!
I must admit I had the BEST time reading this novel! This is probably because it is about OUR world – the Jane Austen community – and pretty much the most exciting thing that could ever happen to it! I loved how many different areas of the Jane Austen community were featured in this novel – from scholars to bloggers, from various JASNA chapters to brick-and-mortar booksellers. It was especially fun to recognize some well-known blogs that I frequent, hear mention of famous scholars and actors, and read some excerpts from Jane Austen’s Sanditon.
I greatly enjoyed all the characters in this novel, especially Jennifer Petkus’s portrayal of Jane Austen. Of course she was quick-witted, intelligent, and spirited, but what I liked seeing was her very human emotions and mistakes (even after 200 years of observing the world!) feeling anxiety about her new release, experiencing guilt and remorse for practicing a terrible deception, and showing a pig-headed stubbornness that rivals many of her characters! I loved that Jane Austen had an online “pen-pal” (Albert Ridings) she was communicating with for a couple of years. There is a very sweet relationship between Jane Austen and Albert (who is also disembodied). I enjoyed seeing Jane experience the same relationship pitfalls we all do – keeping secrets about yourself, feeling insecure, not wanting to admit you were wrong…lol!
Another element that I really enjoyed in this story was all the digital communications and multimedia prose. I loved reading the instant messages and emails the characters were sending each other, as well as the articles, newspaper tidbits, and various blogposts! In addition, I found the footnotes and introductory notes to be very helpful, informative, and entertaining!
This story is incredibly well-crafted and originative! It is abundantly clear that a lot of thought, research, and creativity went into the conception and execution of this novel. I may have wanted an teensy bit more resolution (maybe there will a sequel one day?), but overall, I found Jane, Actually to be a splendidly diverting and engaging Janeite love-fest that I didn’t want to see end!
Note: While this novel does have elements of science-fiction/paranormal in it (advanced technology, the ability to communicate with the dead), it doesn’t travel far into the futuristic unknown. There are no space journeys to galaxies far away, droids, or Klingons. 🙂
Jennifer generously brings with her THREE copies (1 paperback and 2 ebooks) of her new release Jane, Actually for me to give away to THREE lucky readers. WOOT WOOT! (Paperback is open to US residents only)
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (paperback for US residents, ebook for international readers). Thank you, Jennifer!
- This giveaway ends October 16th!
Want to double your chances of winning? Read my interview with author Jennifer Petkus and leave us a comment!