I read a lot of Jane Austen-inspired short stories and novellas recently, so in order to catch up, I thought I’d do another round of mini-reviews:
Four Days in April by Maria Grace
This Pride and Prejudice-inspired short story opens after Darcy’s failed proposal and imagines what might have happened had Elizabeth responded to his letter by writing him one. I love Grace’s writing, so I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed it. I loved their conversation in Lady Catherine’s drawing room, where they said so much without saying much at all. It lives up to the promise that one can read it while enjoying a cup of tea, and while I was satisfied with the ending, I wouldn’t have minded it being longer. (This is a Kindle freebie.)
Sweet Ginger by Maria Grace
Inspired by Emma, this is the story of Harriet Smith, how she ended up at Mrs. Goddard’s school, and how she met Robert Martin and his sisters. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the Martins’ home life and especially how Harriet — so in need of a loving family — immediately fit right in. Grace shows readers how truly wrong Emma was in persuading Harriet to turn down Mr. Martin’s proposal. I was glad to see Harriet take center stage.
Half Agony, Half Hope by Maria Grace
This story aims to fill in the gaps in Persuasion, rather than re-imagine the novel. My favorite scene was toward the end, when Anne, Lady Russell, and Elizabeth are discussing Anne’s upcoming marriage, and Captain Wentworth shows up and offers his opinion when Elizabeth attempts to persuade Anne against getting married before her. That was a laugh-out-loud moment! (This book is available for free on the author’s website.)
Teatime Tales by Leenie Brown
This is a collection of short stories mostly inspired by Pride and Prejudice, though there is one inspired by Mansfield Park. It lives up to the promise of being “a bit of fluff to brighten your day.” My favorite stories were “A Music Room Meeting,” where Colonel Fitzwilliam gets his happily ever after, “From Tolerable to Lovely,” in which Darcy and Elizabeth’s first meeting plays out much differently, and “A Battle of Wills and Words,” in which Colonel Fitzwilliam learns the hard way what happens when one tries to spar with Elizabeth Bennet.
Pride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass to Jane Austen’s Novel and the Making of the BBC TV Series, Starring Colin Firth
by Jessica Long
This was a Kindle freebie that is best suited for someone who hasn’t read Austen’s novel. It explains the plot of Pride and Prejudice, provides details about the characters, and discusses costumes and aspects of Regency society. I basically skimmed through this book because it wasn’t anything new to me.
Have you read any of these? What did you think?
© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.