Friday, February 28, 2014

Longbourn: Austen Fan-Fiction

Dear Friends,

Looking for a little Austen-inspired fiction?  I received a copy of Longbourn for Christmas from a dear friend, and it was a wonderful winter read!

L: The novel, R: The author

Here is a quick preview:

Pride & Prejudice was only half the story...

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh spin on the sometimes too-frequent Austen "sequels", but true devotees may have some qualms when the author chooses to take a few liberties with her characters.  Have no fear, though --- at least most of the Bennetts remain unscathed.  A fun read, a few digressions throughout but very well written & true to the times.

Available at the Massanutten Library, or on Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, or Audible.

Until Soon,
Sara xx

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