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 »

Jul 202018
 

Happy Friday, readers! I am so happy to welcome back author Lona Manning to Austenesque Reviews today! Lona was here last year to celebrate her first release – a Mansfield Park variation titled A Contrary WindWhich I loved (see here)! And now, today, a sequel to that variation is being released! (Woot woot!) Lona is here today to share an excerpt from her new release, A Marriage of Attachment!

This excerpt from A Marriage of Attachment features a flashback to a scene from Mansfield Park, as Edmund falls in love with Mary Crawford while walking through the grounds at Sotherton.

~~~

Edmund Bertram is the clergyman at Thornton Lacey, a village near Mansfield, in his parsonage-house.

Edmund dipped his quill in his ink, and paused, looking up from his blank sheet of paper to gaze out of the window. He recalled when Mary’s brother Henry suggested they build a garden “at what is now the back of the house; which will be giving it the best aspect in the world, sloping to the south-east. The ground seems precisely formed for it.” Henry used to pique himself on his abilities as a landscape designer, and the Crawfords and Bertrams once travelled together to the country home of his sister’s fiancé Mr. Rushworth, so Henry could advise on improvements to his grounds. The visit to the gardens of Sotherton turned out to be anything but innocent for all of the young people hovering on the brink of love or desire. Henry had flirted with Julia all the way there, and, once arrived, had transferred his attentions to Maria. And Mary had discovered that Edmund intended to be a clergyman. Her reaction to this news, ought to have taught Edmund to guard his heart from her. Instead, she had bewitched him. Continue reading »