Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dancing with Mr Darcy: Stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House Library-Sarah Waters (Ed)

Dancing with Mr Darcy: Stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House Library
Sarah Waters (Ed)
Harper, Oct 19 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9780061999062

The twenty stories that make up this entertaining anthology were part of a competition with defined rules. Simply put, the entry had to be associated with Jane Austen and self contained. All the entries meet the criteria and are well written especially for fans of the great author as the writers pay homage to Jane with ther contributions. In “Snowmelt”by Lane Ashfeldt, a librarian fears the extinction of the bound book is upon us as she visits the Chawton House Library while “Cleverclogs” by Hilary Spiers makes a strong case for holding a book while reading in your own silent world. The winner of the contest is “Jane Austen Over the Styx” by Victoria Owens; Jane is on trial in Hades with a jury of the dead demanding she explains the accusations by six of her female characters. Elsa A. Solender’s “Second Thoughts” has Jane knowing she must tell Mr. Harris Bigg-Wither that though she accepted his proposal yesterday she declines it today. Elinor Dashwood Ferrars (see Sense and Sensibility) is a detective in “The Delaford Ladies’ Detective Agency” by Elizabeth Hopkinson; and Mrs. Grant (see Mansfield Park) stars in “Somewhere” by Kelly Brendel. Finally there are entries like Stephanie Tillotson’s “Second Fruits” that bring Persuasion to a modern day. Obviosuly targeting the Austen faithful, this is a fabulous trbute as all the tales are fun and vary.

Harriet Kalsuner

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