Cathy from Olympia, Washington, May 17, 2011 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
Financially-strapped novelist Georgina Jackson reluctantly signs a contract to complete recently discovered manuscript Love and Friendship, penned by none other than Jane Austen. Unfortunately, this manuscript consists of a paltry single chapter. Even more unfortunately, Gina specializes in writing heavily researched, "dark" historical novels-- for example novels about women who live in poverty and are forced into lives of prostitution. Not "light" works. Decidedly NOT Austen. Elizabeth Aston deftly (and humorously) portrays Gina in the throes of a major and potentially catastrophic case of writers' block. I haven't read Aston's Darcy series (yet), but found Aston's Writing Jane Austen to be a fun, humorous, light read, and actually rate this 4 1/2. :-)
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"When author Georgina Jackson, stalled after one chapter into her second book, is offered a lucrative opportunity by her agent to finish an incomplete Jane Austen manuscript, she has to face up to the fact that she has never read any Jane Austen. But she needs to have a job to stay in England and she needs money to pay her rent, so she buckles down to learn about one of England's most famous authors and, in the process, learns about herself. A surrounding cast of charming characters (Henry, her landlord; his teenage sister, Maud; and Henry's Polish housekeeper, Anna), all thunderstruck that Georgina has never read Austen, are eager to help her get the job done. Despite her best attempts to procrastinate, Georgina ends up with a real appreciation for Austen and a remarkable novel to call her own. Aston writes with appreciation and respect for Austen and great affection for her own characters. Austen derivatives have become their own genre, but Aston is doing something different. She's written a witty page-turning love letter to Austen's work." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A failing young writer is chosen to finish a newly discovered manuscript by Jane Austen, in the first contemporary novel from Aston.
Critically acclaimed and award-winning—but hardly bestselling—author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it’s bad news. Shockingly, she’s offered a commission to complete a newly discovered manuscript by a major nineteenth-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to know that the author in question is Jane Austen.
Torn between pushing through or fleeing home to America, Georgina relies on the support of her banker-turned-science student roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud—a serious Janeite. With a sudden financial crisis looming, the only way Georgina can get by is to sign the hugely lucrative contract and finish the book.
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