Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Edited by Laurel Ann Nattress

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

About the Anthology:

"My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy's heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen -- her novels, her life, her wit, her world. Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history's most cherished authors.(from the publisher)

My thoughts:

Can Austen fans ever get enough of quality Austen-inspired sequels, prequels, retellings, and story continuations? I don't think so! Actually, you don't have to be a Janeite to enjoy this creative collection of short stories as there is enough variety here to entertain a wide reading audience.

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It and the creator of the popular Austenprose blog, assembled her dream team of authors to create stories based on Austen's novels and her world. Challenging the authors to remain true to Austen's novels, spirit and philosophies of life and love, twenty-two stories with unique interpretations were created for the anthology and include contributions from top-notch authors such as Lauren Willig, Stephanie Barron, Syrie James, Adriana Trigiani, Monica Fairview, Amanda Grange, and Laurie Viera Rigler, just to name a few, and a contest-winning story from aspiring author Brenna Aubrey.

Here's a sampling of what readers can expect from this creative anthology:

In "Jane Austen's Nightmare" by Syrie James, Jane is plagued by a nightmare in which she encounters her characters while taking a walk, and they are not very happy about the way she has created them (with a few exceptions being the blissfully happily married couples from P&P.)

If you've ever watched an episode of Ghost Hunters on the SyFy channel, you'll get a kick out of Lauren Willig's spoof in "A Night at Northanger."

Fans of Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mystery series will enjoy another mini- installment of Austen-as-sleuth in "Jane and the Gentleman Rogue."

Adriana Trigiani's lovely creation, "Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane," is a beautiful story celebrating the art of letter writing with a modern-day Austen giving her soon-to-be-wed niece advice from the heart. Have a hankie will tug at your heart!

Laurie Viera Rigler imagines Mr. Darcy bringing charges against authors of Pride and Prejudice spin-offs in "Intolerable Stupidity," a courtroom drama with none other than the honorable judge, Lady Catherine de Bourgh presiding!

My advice.......set aside a quiet evening, curl up with a cup of tea or glass of wine, and settle in for a celebration of all things Austen in Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

Available October 2011

**Thank you to Laurel Ann Nattress and Random House for sending me an advance copy for review. You can visit Austenprose and the blog Jane Austen Made Me Do It for more information about events and news.**

4.5/5 stars

Title: Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Editor: Laurel Ann Nattress
Random House
445 pages
genre: Anthology of Austen-inspired stories


Anne said...

I read this too. Some of the short stories I thought were just ok and some of them I thought were wonderful. Overall, a great collection of stories I really enjoyed too!

Anjuli said...

Interesting- I do like short stories and I do like Jane Austen- so I think I might just like this!! :)

Joanne said...

Hi, Anne -- I liked some better than others, as well, which was what I usually expect in a large collection. I gave it high marks for having such a terrific group of big-name Austenesque authors (some of my favorites) and such a variety of different approaches.

Joanne said...

Hello again, Anjuli! I've been on a short-story kick lately as they're quick and easy! This is a nice collection -- look around and see if Austenprose might have some giveaway info.

Staci said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one on my kindle!

Carole Rae said...

I love Ghost Hunters, so I can't wait to read Lauren Willig's section. Well...i can't wait to read the whole thing. ^.^

Jeffrey said...

That's NOT FAIR! How are y'all getting advance copies of this?? My teeth are grinding with envy!

Joanne said...

Oh, Jeffrey, Jeffrey! Don't despair! I received my copy when Laurel Ann Nattress contacted me via my blog for a review. I believe that a copy is available through Netgalley -- you should check that out. I would hate to see you ruin your teeth with all that grinding! Good luck! :)

Vinagrinhos said...

I enjoyed most the stories too! :-) Thanks for participating in the JA Week at Historical Tapestry

Marg said...

I liked some of the stories better than other too, but I guess that is to be expected!

Thanks for stopping by Historical Tapestry this week!

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