Friday, September 18, 2009

According to Jane-Marilyn Brant

According to Jane
Marilyn Brant
Kensington, Oct 2009, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758234612

In the mid 1980s in suburban Chicago, fifteen years old sophomore Ellie Barnett takes Mrs. Leverson’s English Lit class where they are reading Pride and Prejudice. When Sam Blaine makes a move on Ellie, she hears a warning voice in her head. Jane Austen cautions her that Sam is her Wickham.

The voice remains with Ellie over the years as boyfriends come and go; but Jane remains advising her on relationships especially how to elude those sexy bad boys. The worst of the lot in Jane’s mind is Sam who intermittently seems to always be there sniffing at Ellie. She, in turn, knows she is attracted to him and always has since high school lit. However, Ellie begins to think of Sam as her Darcy and decides perhaps even the great Jane Austen needs mentoring on love.

Just when you think Jane Austen could not appear in anything new, a refreshing reincarnation occurs as Marilyn Brant provides an engaging modern day take on the writer. Ellie is a terrific lead character as she adapts to the voice in her head while Sam is her nemesis. Although the abrupt scene shifts can be somewhat jarring, readers will thoroughly enjoy this fun contemporary romance that also provides insight into Jane Austen and her characters.

Harriet Klausner

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