Jan 162019
 

Selfish Natures and Sharp Observations

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

I’ve finally made it…and it feels a long time coming! This is the sixth annotated edition I’ve read of a Jane Austen novel – a Christmas tradition I started back in December 2013! And this last one feels a significant triumph. One reason is because these last 3 weeks have been rather busy with holidays, travels, houseguests, and work obligations (not the best time to plan reading an 800+ page book!). Another reason is because Mansfield Park is the Jane Austen novel I’m least acquainted with – since I’ve only read it twice before and there has been a considerable amount of time since my last read… (over 10 years!). I’m happy to finally revisit with these old friends (not sure if the term ‘friends’ apply to to this group as many of them are insufferably selfish!) and read my sixth annotated edition! (For those who are interested in reading about my previous experiences reading an annotated Jane Austen work, see the bottom of this review.) Continue reading »

Oct 292018
 

What Happens When Edmund Marries Mary Crawford and Fanny Builds Her Own Life?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Sequel to a Mansfield Park variation, A Contrary Wind

TIME FRAME: Begins a year and a half after the close of A Contrary Wind, Fanny is 20.

SERIES: Book 2 of 3? Potential readers should read A Contrary Wind first to fully appreciate and understand all that is taking place in this second book of the series.

SYNOPSIS:

Following her inventive and thoughtful Mansfield Park variation which explored what happens if Fanny Price, tired of being told she was an ungrateful burden to the Bertram family, decided to take control of her own future, Lona Manning continues to follow the members of the Bertram, Price, and Crawford families, who are on decidedly divergent paths from their courses in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. In this sequel readers will observe how Fanny is making a new life for herself outside London and see more of her friends Mrs. Butters and writer, William Gibson, follow Lieutenant William Price in his naval missions to Africa, and witness the estranged relationship between Edmund and Mary. Continue reading »

Oct 172018
 

Women of Sense, Strength, and Substance

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Editor

OVERVIEW:

With two brilliant and beautifully-crafted short-story anthologies – one devoted to Mr. Darcy and one all about Jane Austen’s bad boys – already under her belt, editor Christina Boyd has decided to create a collection that solely spotlights some of Jane Austen’s female characters. And instead of focusing on just one character, like Elizabeth Bennet, or the main heroine of each tale, this collection spotlights sixteen different female characters from various Jane Austen works. Some of the characters featured are well-known and beloved heroines like Anne Elliot and Marianne Dashwood, some are less favored heroines like Fanny Price and Emma Woodhouse, some are popular secondary characters such as Charlotte Lucas and Elinor Tilney, and some are more unexpected choices like Louisa Musgrove, Penelope Clay, and Lady Susan (love that Lady Susan is included!). But what unites all these characters (and their stories in this collection) is that they are women of sense (sometimes lately developed or hidden), strength (although they may doubt it at times) and undeniable substance.

“In Austen’s fictional world, a single woman in possession of good intellect, must be in want of a man who recognizes its value.” – Devoney Looser (Foreword to Rational Creatures) Continue reading »