Sunday, August 19, 2007

Book Review - Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

I don't usually write book reviews but it is something that I think I should do more often so here are some of my thoughts on the book Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.

First of all I don't consider myself an addict really, but I do love Jane Austen's work. I have read all 6 novels and many of her unfinished works, seen every movie adaptation and visit The Republic of Pemberley almost every day. I have also read a number of prequel, sequels and fan fiction that others have written about Jane Austen's characters and novels. Some are really good and some are not worthy of Jane Austen.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is one that really isn't worthy of Jane Austen. I read one review that called it frothy. I think that word is just about right. It describes this story nicely. I probably shouldn't have finished it but I was intrigued by the plot. I found it kinda fun that it was a modern girl that goes back in time to live the life of a regency woman. It was entertaining to see how unglamorous yet at the same time luxurious the life was for the wealthy. So I finished the book and I am glad that I did because the character learns a great lesson at the end that is was good for me to think about.

So yes It wasn't up to Jane Austen's quality of writing but it was an enjoyable read. I didn't like the characters like I love Elizabeth Bennett or Anne Elliot. The men certainly weren't Mr. Knightly or Mr. Darcy. They just weren't fleshed out enough perhaps. The main character isn't a person with any morals so therefore isn't someone you can respect. But by the end of the story she learns to see things a little differently which is a good thing for a modern girl to do.

If you love Jane Austen's novels there are many much better books to read if you want to read more about these characters.

I loved Darcy's Story by Janet Alymer and An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aiden. This is the first of 3 books that she wrote to cover the Pride and Prejudice story but from Mr. Darcy's perspectitve. I personally didn't enjoy the 2nd book (to me it didn't fit Mr. Darcy's personality) but loved the 1st and 3rd.

I loved Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken. This is Emma but from the perspective of Jane Fairfax. I love Jane Fairfax and see her totally differently now that I have read this backstory of her. This is one I actually own now because I love it and read it again almost as often as I read the other Austen books.

I also really enjoyed Emma Watson (no not the girl that plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films) by Joan Aiken. This is Jane Austen's unfinished novel called "The Watsons". Aiken finished it and it felt almost like a Austen novel. Not quite as polished and witty but a good story.

I also liked The Third Sisterby Julia Barrett. This is a continuation of Sense and Sensibility and focuses on Margaret the other sister. It is interesting and you get to see a little more of Elinor and Marrianne.

Anyway... there are a few of my suggestions. I am kinda neutral about recommending "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict". Unless you are a big fan, there are a lot of better things to read.

No comments: