Monday, January 25, 2010

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

There are a lot of Jane Austen fan fiction books out there. A lot. I do tend to enjoy it though. With Becoming Jane hitting it big, I wasn't sure if I'd like The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen or if it would just be a copy of it. It was quite wonderful, so I was happily surprised!
Syrie James managed to write in a style eerily similar to Austen's, which worked perfectly for this book. James sets this up as though Austen's memoirs were recently discovered in an old trunk, and an English professor is publishing them. She even includes footnotes so it really seems like a nonfiction book, and refers to events outside of the memoir the same way you would if you were writing a journal. James does this splendidly. I honeestly felt like I was reading Austen's actual memoirs, so she did an excellent job.
Of course, since you know Jane never married, you know this this won't have a happily ever ending. That makes it all the more heart-breaking when she falls deeply in love with the perfect man. I ached for her, and hated knowing her few blissfully happy moments were all she would have. There is something romantic in that though, about a love that will remember only the good times, and won't grow old or stale or be reduced to discussions about the baby. Although I think that's perfectly possible in a marriage as well.
If you want to be swept up by what might have happened to Jane Austen, in a wonderful style reminscent of of the author herself, check this out.

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