Book Reviews, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Paranormal & Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Jane Austen Books, Regency History

End of Month Austenesque Mini-Review Roundup – September

Waiting for Mr. Darcy, by Chamein Canton (2009)Waiting for Mr. Darcy, by Chamein Canton

A contemporary mid-lit novel inspired by every woman’s dream of finding her Mr. Darcy no matter what age. Lauren, Gabby, and Alicia are three forty-something full-figured friends who met in adolescence, loved, worked, married, divorced, and everything in-between but are not quite ready to give up on their eternal quest for a Jane Austen hero. Packed with endearing friendships, romance, and tons of food, this novel is as full-figured as its heroines in its social commentary on midlife dating and as generous as its 405 pages in pure fun. Be prepared for sexual situations, inter-racial relationships and plenty of laughs.  Genesis Press, ISBN: 978-1585713516

3 out of 5 Regency Stars 

The English Pleasure Garden, by Sarah Jane Downing (2009)The English Pleasure Garden 1660-1860, by Sarah Jane Downing

This slim volume is brimming with historical information on the creation and evolution of the popular Pleasure Gardens in England. Originally designed as a diversion for the rich, Pleasure Gardens such as Vauxhall Garden in London and Sydney Gardens in Bath not only featured beautifully landscaped walks and vistas but halls for music and dancing. Given the size limitations of this book, it is a nice introduction to a topic that will appeal to historical fiction readers and history students. My one disappointment is that the lovely vintage images are not credited. Otherwise, the author’s research is impressive, taking the reader back to a time when the social scene meant putting on your best frock and leaving the house instead of poking your friends on Facebook. Shire Publications, ISBN: 978-0747806998

4 out of 5 Regency Stars 

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, by Jane Austen and Ben H. WintersSense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Trolling for a fresh catch after the runaway bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the new craze of literary mash-ups rears its irreverent head from the briny deep and takes a big bite out of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility, rewriting a masterpiece and inserting sea monsters and very little humor. Served up are sixty percent original Austen and forty percent cioppino, swimming with man-eating jellyfish, giant lobsters, and rampaging octopi. What results is a Jules Verne nightmare that belongs 20,000 leagues under the sea. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a clever parody of Jane Austen’s original, laughing with her tongue-in-cheek. This time out, only the bald-headed, gibberish chanting little sister Margaret Dashwood makes any sense, and all the ironic sensibility of Austen’s classic ends up as soggy fish and chips. Quirk Books, ISBN: 978-1594744426

1 out of 5 Regency Stars 

6 thoughts on “End of Month Austenesque Mini-Review Roundup – September”

  1. If I had plenty of spare time, which I haven’t, I’d like to read the novel about the 40-something women looking for their Mr Darcy. Sounds it might reveal quite autobiographical… Cheers.


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