Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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

Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Edited by Austenprose’s Laurel Ann Nattress and published just in time for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense & Sensibility, JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is an engaging collection of 22 never-before-published original short stories inspired by Jane Austen. The treasures in this volume include exclusive short fiction and reading group material from beloved bestselling authors Jo Beverley, Syrie James, Adriani Trigiani, and Lauren Willig; top Austen sequel writers Pamela Aidan, Elizabeth Aston, Amanda Grange, Alexandra Potter, and Laurie Viera Rigler; mother and daughter (Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway) and husband and wife (Frank Delaney and Diane Meier) teams; and a brand new voice in Austenesque fiction—Brenna Aubrey, the recently announced Grand Prize winner of a short story contest hosted by Ballantine Books, Austenprose, and the highly trafficked Austen fan site The Republic of Pemberley (Pemberley.com).

When I was asked to review this book I was very excited. I love Jane Austen's books and I just can't resist reading sequels and spinoffs because I love revisiting the characters.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It is an anthology including many different stories. There are contemporary stories and historical ones. There are sequels and there are spinoffs. And there are stories about Jane Austen and her family. The fact that the stories are so varied makes it easy to appeal to readers, there's something for everyone. Maybe no one will love all of them but we will all find some to love.

I, happily, found a few. Even if historicals are my favourite genre I have also enjoyed some of the contemporaries. That has clearly something to do with my Jane Austen favourite. Stories connected or influenced by Persuasion are much more appealing to me.

The success of an anthology such as this also resides in the author's ability to write short stories. Not everyone can craft a well strutured story in a smaller format but some of the stories in this anthology are definitely winners. Without further ado, here are my favourites:

Jane and the Gentleman Rogue by Stephanie Barron
A regency mystery well done and interesting enough to make check out Barron's other boks that have Austen has chief detective. I wonder if the ain character in this storyappears in one of the others.

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverley
A lovely short story, set in Austen's time and written in traditional regency style. Lovers of regency romance have a small gem in this one.

Heard of You by Margaret Sullivan
I love to know what happens to interesting secondary characters and the Crofts (Persuasion) really deserved a story of their own.

Faux Jane by RJ Meiers
What happens when a couple decides to untangle the mystery of how a snobbish actress decides to buy an "autographed" Austen book, how an english lord lets himself be conned to save her.

The Love Letter by Brenna Aubrey
A second chance story set in modern times and from a male point of view. I rather liked it's connection to Persuasion.

You might not enjoy the same ones I did but you will definitely find some stories to love. A must read for Jane Austen fans!

Thank you Laurel Ann and Random House for sending me a copy through NetGalley


  1. I liked all of those same ones except the Faux Jane one. I also liked the last story too where the authors of spin-offs, movies etc are put on trial!

  2. Funny how we enjoyed most of the same stories...

  3. Far and away favorite was 'What Would Austen Do' a YA present day tale. Something LOL on every page. I also enjoyed 'The Chase' a naval adventure starring Jane Austens brother. I thought it was very different. As was said on another blog these were the two stories that i think could easily be expanded to books (which i think is the plan with What Would Austen Do)



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