Jane Austen Summer
Morrow, Mar 29 2011, $14.99
In Texas in a few months, Lily Berry lost her job due to Austen and her boyfriend also due to Austen. On top of that her mom passes; leaving behind for her two daughters necklaces made from her jewelry. Lily and her sister Karen feel they also lost her father who has a new girlfriend Sue; who he plans to marry and consequently is unavailable to help either of his shell shocked daughters.
Despondent she turns to Jane Austen for solace as the local bookstore owner Vera offers her a chance to participate in a reenactment of Mansfield Park by Janeite enthusiasts. However, Vera fails to inform excited Lily that their effort is failing and she has no role. Lily is attracted to Anglican Deacon Willis. Meanwhile Magda the director gives the Texan a hard time while she also has an affair with her superior until his wife and toddlers arrive. However, a different triangle with kids shakes the Berry siblings.
The premise of a sort of Venn diagram using interrelated relational triangles instead of circles is set up nicely due to the different personalities especially flaws the key characters bring to the mix. Since none of the relationships takes deep control throughout, readers will have difficulty determining what matters as Lily never anchors the story line. Still Janeites will enjoy spending “A Season at Mansfield Park” with the Berry sisters.