Saturday, September 11, 2010



by Jane Austen and Another Lady

An Austen enthusiast who goes by "Another Lady" completed Jane Austen's unfinished fragment of a 7th novel. During one summer at the seaside town of Sandition, Charlotte Heywood meets the colorful local characters and tries to avoid losing her heart to the jokester Sidney Parker while trying to entertain his two friends. She also befriends the shy Miss Lambe and tries to avoid the confidences of Clara Brereton and steer clear of the repulsive Sir Edward. It's a busy summer in Sandition and if Jane Austen had lived to polish and complete this novel, it would have been full of the subtle humor she was known for. Unfortunately, she left us with a draft of 11 chapters which Another Lady completes by combining a traditional Regency romance plot with phrases and situations from Austen's previous novels. I disliked the borrowing and felt it made the story seem like amateur fan fiction and less like Austen's sharp writing. The story gets off to a slow start but picks up and becomes more engaging once all the characters are in place. I enjoyed this version more that the one completed by Juliette Shapiro and would recommend it to Austen enthusiasts but perhaps not true Janeites.

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