Sunday 6 November 2011

Review: Jane Austen Made Me Do It - Anthology

Genre: Jane Austen variations
Pages: 448
Published: October 2011
Publisher: Ballantine
Source. NG

“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. 

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.

My thoughts:
As always like with all stories, some I liked some not so much. Some I wanted to read more of because they were good, and some I thought also needed to be longer because I was just confused when they were so short. All in all this was a nice collection of different variations, modern version and a few ghosts.

And I am going to say a bit about every story.

Jane Austen's Nightmare Syrie James 
JA meets her characters, it was such a delightful and short story :D Must read more by this author.

Waiting: A story inspires by Jane Austen's Persuasion by Jane Odiwe 
Anne and Wenthworth. A little but about the past and the proposal now. Sweet.

A Night at Northanger by Lauren Willig 
Ghost Trekkers at Northanger. Not my favorite story. It was good, but to me it did not feel very Jane Austen like.

Jane and the Gentleman Rogue: Being a fragment of a Jane Austen mystery by Stephanie Barron 
Jane Austen and spies. I do not know about this one, it was ok, but I just do not know why she cared for something.

Faux Jane by Diane Meier and Frank Delaney writing as F. J. Meier 
I do admit to feeling confused during the whole story. Not for me.

Nothing Less Than Fairy-land by Monica Fairview 
Emma and Knightley after the honeymoon. Another sweet one. Poor Emma, her dad sure is troublesome. Very enjoyable and I must read more by this author.

Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane by Adriana Trigiani 
A letter and I was bored, that is it.

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverley 
A lovely story about a widow with 3 daughters and a HEA. A short story that worked well and would surely have made a great book too.

When Only a Darcy Will Do by Beth Pattillo 
I was worried that the modern stories would not work for me, but this one was nice. A woman holds JA tours and meets a guy. And what a guy.

Heard of You by Margaret C. Sullivan 
Admiral Croft and the story how he met his wife. Awww young Frederick Wentworth, I always did like stories set at sea.

The Ghostwriter by Elizabeth Aston 
JA helps an author write a book. I liked how JA was portrayed here, not as you would imagine her at all.

Mr. Bennet Meets His Match by Amanda Grange 
How he met his wife. Yes he fell for a pretty face, and I liked how it showed that he was still happy with his choice.

Jane Austen, yeah, yeah, yeah by Janet Mullany 
A teacher talks about Sense and Sensibility during detention and compares them to the Beatles to get the girls interested. I liked this discussion as it does show you can do anything with JA.

Letters to Lydia by Maya Slater 
Maria Lucas is watching and writing letters about how she thinks Lizzy and Darcy are up to something. Delightful letters, and it seems Maria could have played a crucial par behind the scenes.

The mysterious Closet: A tale by Myretta Roberts 
Honestly again I was just confused. i think the story was good, but needed to be fleshed out cos now confusion took over.

Jane Austen's Cat by Diana Birchall 
An ok story. Not much going on in it.

Me and Mr Darcy, Again.... by Alexandra Potter 
4 years after book 1 and I do have that book...I might just have to read it and see the woman who met Mr Darcy

What would Mr Darcy do? by Jane Rubino and Caitleen Rubino-Bradway 
A YA story, very nice and I liked this one where a young boy learns to dance and meets a girl

The Riding Habit by Pamela Aidan 
Not much happened in this one where Lizzy learns to ride but it was still good.

The Love letter by Brenna Aubrey
A twist on Persuasion, an ok story but not much happening.

The Chase by Carrie Bebris 
A story about JA's brother. Sea chases and so on, something I would rather see on tv than read.

Intolerable stupidity by Laurie Viera Rigler 
First I was all confused because it was really strange, but after a while I started to enjoy it. A very weird story that should just be read.

And that was all, as you can see there are a lot of stories in this one and something for everyone.


  1. You told me exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks :)

  2. Wow - a lot of stories there. And I still haven't read a single original Jane Austen...feeling guilty! :)

  3. I've had my eye on this one. I like Austen retellings and short stories too.
    I am a fan of Laurie Viera Rigler's, glad to see her in this collection too.

  4. A lot of SHORT stories which are TOO short...glad you enjoyed some of them at least!

  5. I came across this book the other day and thought of you!

  6. So, sounds like there were more you liked than didn't like?

  7. Wow lots to take in there. Thanks for the review. :)

  8. I see a few of my favorite authors. I will put this book on my TBR list. Thanks.

  9. i reviewed this as well and really enjoyed it. A few i'd like to see as full length books..others not so much.
    have a great weekend :)

  10. This sounds intriguing. Another book to add to my ever-growing list of books I want :)

  11. Mary
    I am glad :D

    Do not feel guilty! I have only read 2 of her books

    I have not read her works, but it was fun to try something by her :)

    Yes too short :/ But some worked, thankfully!

    How nice! And yes it was sure the book for me

  12. Chris
    I guess there must have been :)

    I know, so many stories in total.

    Then you really must read it :D

    Same with me, some I want more of, some no thanks

    Hihi, I know that feeling

  13. i didn't know this was short stories! for some reason i love short stories when i'm in the right mood. i was going to skip this, but now i want to read it!

  14. Not my usual thing, but Austen short stories I would try! Loved your review of Trigiani's letter. I needed the laugh :)

  15. I will be reading this one first time really diving into short stories this year.

  16. Gah! I don't like it when the stories are too short and everything is just confusing. I wonder if they were trying to fit too many any instead of looking for really great ones.

  17. I really want to read this, but I won't allow myself to read any books like these until I finish every Jane Austen book and even her short stories. I just have a couple left, so I will hold onto my vow. I'm sorry you didn't like Lauren Willig's one that much, but have you read any of her books. They are pretty nefty.

  18. Many of these sound inviting but the one that most intrigues me is Ghostwriter - JA not as we would imagine, hmmm.

  19. This sounds like a fun anthology for Jane Austen fans.

  20. Faux Jane was confusing to me to, but that's because I didn't get the references to The Thin Man. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part, though. Seems like we liked a lot of the same stories. :)

  21. WOW! A JA anthology?! How splendid. This one definitely seems worth checking out.

  22. Carrie
    Aha, well then do not skip it :D yes so many short stories to enjoy, and since there are so many then you are sure to like some

    Jenny G
    Hihi, well you know me ;)

    I have read quite a lot this yea, strange, dunno how it happened, it just did.

    WOnder B
    I did wonder that with one or two that I just did not get at all...and they were boring too

  23. Carole
    o_O *hides and whispers that I have only read 2 of her books*
    I have heard Willig's books are good, so I still want to read those

    Nope, she was quite, oh you know I am not gonna say...

    It sure was.

    Thin Man? Lol, see I do not even get that.

    Yes, so lovely :D And some of them were just great

  24. We agreed on many of the stories -- I found Laurie Viera Rigler's to totally baffling and I too was bored by Adriana Trigiani's offering. "Faux Jane" had a ton of dialogue and it really depended on one getting all their inside jokes -- it reminded me of a snappy, banter-y romance -- which works for some (like me) but not all!

  25. Audra
    I am so glad I was not the only one getting that story. It felt like I was missing something and i wondered if it was me, but yes, not the only one ;)

    Inside jokes, nope, I tend to miss those

  26. Stories in this antho sounds too short for me :)

  27. Cherry
    I fear that is what they were



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