Monday, January 2, 2012

31 Things: Read Six Novels Inspired by Jane Austen

Originally my goal was to read all the novels of Jane Austen. I had already read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. I did read Northanger Abbey, but I found Mansfield Park couldn't hold my interest. I do still wish to read Persuasion at some point, however, not at this time. Therefore I modified my goal a bit. There is a slew of Jane Austen inspired novels. Some take Pride and Prejudice, and change a scenario so it doesn't always work out the same way. Some are continuation stories, modern day adaptations and if you can believe it, supernatural stories as well. These are the six that I read for this challenge.

I read a Jane Austen blog called Austenesquie, which reviews all the Austen inspired novels, does author interviews and occasionally holds contests. I entered one of the drawings and won this book! So exciting. This is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It starts out with Darcy taking a voyage across the sea to America to pick up his sister Georgiana who has been staying there. The boat he's on is one he owns, so he has some pretty sweet accommodations. Elizabeth Bennett is also on the boat, but in steerage. Over the course of the voyage, Darcy and Elizabeth get to know each other, realize they met briefly in a carriage a few years before and fall in love. They secretly marry and this is where things get interesting. We have a few scenes from America and the story breezes through the return boat trip. Then it starts back at some familiar scenes and I won't tell you the rest, but I did thoroughly enjoy this story.

Murder? Intrigue? I absolutely loved this story. There aren't as many adaptations of Mansfield Park, and this is a unique one. It takes place in the same time period/setting etc., however, the author completely changes the personality of some of the characters. In this tale, Fanny Price is the snobby gal, which is pretty much why she ends up murdered. It's a great mystery with well drawn out characters and just a really fun read.

I really didn't know what to think when I picked this one up, but it had received good reviews and sounded extremely unique. Author Jack Caldwell takes the story of Pride and Prejudice, and moves it to just after the Civil War has ended. Elizabeth Bennett and her family are Northerners that decide to move South. Darcy is a prideful rancher still recovering from the war. Even with the different setting, familiar scenes can be discerned. What can I say, this was a fun book to read. Yehaw!!

 This is the sixth book in this mystery series, a series that has quickly become a favorite for me. This series takes place right after the Darcy's get married. The first book deals with characters from Pride and Prejudice, the second mixes in characters from Sense and Sensibility, and 3-5 cover Emma, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. This book the Darcy's have the pleasure of interacting with Captain Wentworth and his new wife Anne from Persuasion. Essentially the Darcy's, along with Georgiana, take a vacation in Bath. They come across a dying woman on the beach one day, who is about to have a baby. They get her to a nearby sailors house, where she delivers and promptly dies. This is mystery one. There is also a mystery surrounding Darcy's cousin's naval chest, and the naval officer who returned it to them upon his death. As the story progresses, we start to realize these mysteries may connect. Will the Darcy's figure it out before someone else gets hurt? Highly recommended!

I thought this an appropriate book for the holidays. A delightful read with three short stories featuring the Darcy's Christmas'. Highly recommend.

I loved this book: you can find my full review on Goodreads

I am motivated to read more Jane Austen, and have the bug. I even created a reading challenge that you can check out here: Explore the Many Genres of Jane Austen Spinoffs 2012 Reading Challenge.

Three months to go on my 31 Things List!


  1. Birdget Jones's Diary is a take on a Jane Austen novel if you want to add that to your list. :) it's a cute read.

  2. First let me say I love your header.
    I have a Landseer child who would love to visit for a playdate.
    I found you when looking for reading challenges for 2012. My house is floor to ceiling books in every room and I need to buy less and read more.
    Thank you for some excellent suggestions.

  3. Glad to see you enjoyed The Deception at Lyme. Can't wait to read that book! I also enjoyed A Weekend With Mr. Darcy and Pemberley Ranch.

  4. I am looking forward to reading The Deception at Lyme as Carrie Bebris is my favorite Austen spin-off writer.


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