Monday, August 31, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge: Book Review: Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This collection of nine short stories includes backstories, sequels and what-ifs to Jane Austen's beloved novels. Greensmith provides sympathetic insights into characters you love to hate. Her what-if stories are realistic, true to Austen’s characters, and delightful to sink your teeth into. And always, Greensmith, Romantic that she is, calls forth the power and beauty of the natural world to heal, bless, and nurture the wounded, the misunderstood, the lonely, and the confused on their journeys through life.
My Review:

These short stories were amazing!

1. Rainbow Around the Moon-
The snow has stopped and the cold has set in. It's growing dark. I light the lamps and make the fire roar. I stop my work and go outside to read the skies and pay my homage. And there, low on the horizon, hangs the moon, still full but waning. Its halo speaks of coming snow, or sore, rain. Its halo is iridescent, a rainbow around the moon. A promise of peace. Peace at last.
Just a taste of her beautiful imagery. This story was inspired by Persuasion.

2. 3 Sisters- Is a bit of a mish-mash of all of her novels!

3. The Last Baby- We learn more about Mrs. Bennett and her side of the story and how she fell in love with Mr. Bennett and her anguish over losing her only son; a very touching story.

4. Bird of Paradise- Inspired by Mansfield Park. We learn more about Fanny and her relationship with Edmund and how she grows into her role as Mrs. Bertram.
And by this stream, Edmund kissed me as if for the first time. He ran his fingers through my hair, catching them in the curls that bobbed about my neck and throat. We went inside and went upstairs, and used up three candles complete that night. My feet never got cold.
5. Color of Love- Inspired by Pride and Prejudice.
His marriage banns were blue, and gold , and green. He never took for granted the kaleidoscope that was Elizabeth. Even in old age, when his eyes began to fail him and he had to squint to see the contours of her sweet, loving face, Darcy felt her yellow candle warmth caress and love his blues away until all the world was Eden once again, and all the light was the soft green of newly mown hay. Sunrise, sunset. Waterfalls in dark forests. A meadow filled with flowers. Craggy heights and distant vistas. Elizabeth was the color of his love.
6. Remember We Are English- Inspired by Northanger Abbey. We learn more how Henry defied his father and fell in love and married Catherine! It's very romantic.

7. When the Fates Conspire- Inspired by Persuasion. This one is pretty humorous! Two fates actually conspire to bring back together Anne and Frederick!

8. Heaven Can Wait- Pride and Prejudice. We learn about Jane's first love who wrote her poetry and how Bingley helped her to move on.

9. All I Do- Pride and Prejudice. This puts a different twist on the events of P&P. Lizzy marries Col. Fitzwilliam rather than Darcy! That's all I'll give away!

This book was such a treasure to find. My only complaint is I wish Jane Greensmith would write all of these short stories into actual novels! They are amazing. I recommend this book of short stories for any fellow Janeite!

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