Saturday, October 10, 2009

According to Jane by Marilyn Brant

According to Jane
by Marilyn Brant

Just released: October 1, 2009
Genre: Romance
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 5

Inspiration: for my Everything Austen challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description from amazon:
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten.

Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own.

Years and boyfriends come and go - sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.

My thoughts:
In-a-word: soulmate

I found this to be a coming of age kind of novel. But the growth being in the department of love and relationships. The story flashbacks into Ellie's, the main character, YA dating life which takes place in the 80's. Being of the Generation X, I was immediately hooked to this book because of the references to music and culture of those times.  Woo-hoo for Spandau Ballet! Martin was my favorite at the time. He's the bloke with the red kerchief.

Of course, the other draw to this book is Jane Austen's presence. Along with Jane's advice, you'll get some parallels with the Pride and Prejudice story.

The end of the story takes an unusual paranormal twist that makes the story more than what you initially think it to be. hmmmm, yeah, you'll have to read it to find out what the heck!

After the end of the story is a delightful Q&A session between characters, Ellie, Sam and Marilyn (the author). Great feature!

Loved this beautiful passage:
In one sense, I knew I was finally becoming the monarch I'd dreamed of. I'd emerged from my cocoon of adolescense, transitioned into young adulthood and was incredibly close to being able to float around the world of grown-ups in my butterfly costume. Inside, however, I remained much the confused caterpillar I'd always been.
-ARC page 48

According to Wikipedia:
Jane Austen's House Museum is a small private museum in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. It occupies the 17th century house (informally known as Chawton Cottage) in which novelist Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life and where she wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.

In the story, Ellie spent a vacation visiting all of Jane Austen's haunts in England. If ever I find myself in England, the Jane Austen House Museum is one place set on my agenda of sites to visit. Have you visited any of Jane's haunts - Bath, Lyme, etc?

*image source of house

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