Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book review

It's been forever since I've done a book review, probably because it's been forever since I've actually had a chance to read a book, but I really wanted to review this one because it really left an impression on me and that is no small feat!

I've read dozens of Jane Austen fan fiction-type books and absolutely love them, particularly either the modern day retellings or the ones where the modern people get transported to the Austen era (although not so much the so-called sequels...those tend to tread too much on the original novels toes).

There is a TV miniseries that I absolutely love called Lost In Austen which is the story of a girl completely obsessed with Pride & Prejudice and ends up swapping places with Elizabeth Bennet (not really Amanda's choice and she tries numerous times to get back only to be thwarted by a very quickly-adapting to modern times Lizzie). Although Amanda tries not to mess the storyline up, she ends up completely altering everything...Jane ends up married to Collins, Bingley runs off with Lydia, Wickham is a misunderstood hero (and pretty darn hot too), and, worst of all, she not only ends up falling for Darcy, but he ends up falling for her as well (after he gets over hating her that is).

But I never knew there were fictions about North & South, let alone bothered to even look for them. I ran across What You Wish For from Catherine Winchester and knew I just had to have it...a North & South version of Lost In Austen, what's not to love! The quality of the actual book wasn't so great, it almost looks self-published and the editing was atrocious, but that didn't seem to matter much. And I really wonder if they got Richard Armitage's permission to use his likeness on the cover (it's pretty obvious it's him, even with the artistic effects).

The basic premise is a girl named Carrie gets left a magical pair of earrings from her deceased aunt. In a "woe is me" moment, while wearing the earrings, she ends up wishing she could find a guy like Thornton, only to wake up the next morning transported to the Hale's door in Helston a couple of weeks before they leave for Milton. Carrie also tries to keep from messing up the story, but ends up falling for Thornton just as he does her, but their ending isn't as quickly a happy one (although she finally does stop fighting her feelings). Instead of swapping places with Margaret, they become like sisters, and Carrie actually follows in Margaret's footsteps from the original novel.

Because of this book, I'm definitely gonna start looking for more North & South fictions! I'd really like to see this in film as well, but unlike Darcy, there is only one John Thorton and that is Richard Armitage, so unless they can cast him, I think I'll have to pass!


Maurice Mitchell said...

I'm not into Civil War stuff, but that book could change my mind Keebles.

Keebles said...

Not that North And South...sorry! This North & South is about the class struggles between the aristocratic South of England (i.e. London) and the industrial North (i.e. Manchester). It was written by Elizabeth Gaskell who wasn't quite a contemporary of Jane Austen, but of the Bronte's, who not only was she personal friends with, but also wrote a biography of Charlotte. Gaskell also wrote Cranford and Wives and Daughters if you watch any period dramas. It was a good 50 or so years before the American Civil War (and if my memory serves me, I think only probably Gaskell lived long enough to see our Civil War-Austen died when both the Bronte's and Gaskell were little girls and probably was their inspiration).