by Suzie Johnson, Lisa Karon Richardson, Dina L. Sleiman, Niki Turner
Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen’s Novels
Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love–Jane Austen style. Volume 2 includes:
Simply Lila by Suzie Johnson, based on Lady Susan
Yearning to find a real-life hero, a wallflower must learn to live outside the pages of an Austen novel.
Fully Persuaded by Niki Turner, based on Persuasion
A brokenhearted artist struggles with the shame of her family s bankruptcy and the return of her first love whose proposal she d spurned because he was poor.
Mansford Ranch by Dina L. Sleiman, based on Mansfield Park
An aspiring novelist with a keen eye for character must determine who is worthy of playing her own leading man.
Sense and Nonsense by Lisa Karon Richardson, based on Sense and Sensibility
A would-be missionary is determined to make it to Ceylon, but when her funds disappear, she has to accept help from the man she most wants to avoid.
After I took a chance and thoroughly enjoyed the first volume, I began to anticipate this second installment of Austen in Austin. In the first I was impressed, but I have to say I am even more so by how the second takes into account the stories that come before—all of them—incorporating parts of plots and characters. Much as we’d find in any real community, the lives and histories intertwine with each other to a degree that makes the entire collection a pleasure to read and reread.
This compilation is obviously put together with much love and respect for the author whose stories these novellas are based upon. They are tributes to the stories themselves, and to the intelligence and thought that went into their creation, evidenced by their individual styles yet cohesion as a part of one whole story world.
The fun thing about these retellings is comparing them to the originals, the differences as well as the nods to Jane. I also enjoy how the first story alone makes me want to go back and read all of Austen’s novels, especially Lady Susan, which I am ashamed to say, I have never before read.
I admired the heroes this go-round, especially Ford and his ability to accept his own past failures rather than blame everything on Annie. And Kirby’s ability to see Lila’s beauty and reassure her of it, to convince her of how he sees her, was certainly swoon-worthy.
This fictional Austin is a pleasure to visit and spend time in; I highly recommend it to fans of both Austen, and well, Austin.
I received a free copy of this book from the authors but no compensation for this review. I was not required to write a favorable one and the opinions expressed are both honest and my own.