Monday, May 12, 2014
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown really deserves 3,5 out of 5 stars. I would like to have given it 4 stars but found two parts a bit inappropriate for the Jane Austen theme. More about that in a moment...
Eleanor arrives in England for a JA conference. When she gets to the hotel, she finds her room has been cancelled instead of rebooked to a single room after the break up of her relationship. The only room left is in the haunted old tower of the hotel. Haunted supposedly by the ghosts of two sisters who used to live in the old manor house during Regency times. Eleanor doesn't believe in ghosts so she accepts the room. But soon she discovers that the ghosts are very real and she agrees to help them change their destiny by going back in time. They even agree to arrange for her to meet Jane Austen herself. Eleanor will agree to anything to get some sleep.
She awakens to find she really has travelled back in time. She is introduced as the sisters widowed cousin from The Colonies who has come to visit during a house party.
This book is great fun. Eleanor has to fumble her way through the customs of the time and does it with surprising ease. She is constantly asking herself "What would Jane Austen do?" which gets her through some situations. The book is a humorous and fun referral to many of the stereotypes of JA books. It pulls you in like a JA book where you find yourself wondering if Anne and Captain Wentworth, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy or Emma and Mr. Knightley will really get together in the end. I enjoyed Eleanor as a heroine who fumbles her way through history.
So why only three stars, you ask?
Unfortunately, there were two scenes in the book which I found went off from being very JA to being (especially chapter 15) simply pornographic. I was really sorry these were put in the book as it brought the book down for me and did nothing to add to the rest of the atmosphere which was spot on. Still, the book was great fun and I would recommend it to any Jane fans out there...well, maybe with skipping a few pages during the two scenes between Eleanor and Lord Shermont.