Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Novels of 2021

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Happy New Year’s Eve dear readers!

2021 proved to be a fabulous year in the historical book arena. From creative Austenesque variations, to Regency romances upending tropes, to reimagined gender-switched classics, to compelling historical fiction and mystery, we have been duly entertained and enchanted. A big thank you goes out to all of the authors and their publishers for keeping us supplied with so many stories to binge during these challenging times. Continue reading “Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Novels of 2021”

A Preview of Plumleaf Press Vintage Classics: The Perfect Christmas Gift for the Discerning Reader

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Happy Friday, dear readers. How is your holiday shopping going? I find that when there are so many gift editions of classic novels available, it is difficult to choose. Here’s my criteria for narrowing down the field:

  1. A beautifully designed cover and interior.
  2. Easy-to-read text.
  3. An author bio, and an insightful introduction.

Continue reading “A Preview of Plumleaf Press Vintage Classics: The Perfect Christmas Gift for the Discerning Reader”

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh (A Pride and Prejudice Novel), by Molly Greeley — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Anne de Bourgh is known only as the sedate and sickly shadow of her mother, Lady Catherine’s, condescending and loudly opinionated character. The heiress of Rosings Park in Kent, Miss de Bourgh was intended from infancy—as a favorite wish of both her mother and her aunt—to marry her first cousin, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire, thereby uniting two grand fortunes and estates. But when Mr. Darcy ultimately marries that obstinate, headstrong Miss Elizabeth Bennet instead, what is to become of Miss de Bourgh? This is one of many questions explored in Molly Greeley’s fascinating second Pride and Prejudice variation, The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh. Continue reading “The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh (A Pride and Prejudice Novel), by Molly Greeley — A Review”

Bronte’s Mistress: A Novel, by Finola Austin — A Review

Brontes Mistress by Finola Austin 2020From the desk of Molly Greeley:

The mystique of the Brontë sisters hasn’t lessened in the years since they wrote their extraordinary novels. Their brother Branwell is remembered by history less for his literary talents than for his notorious addictions, and for the alleged affair he had with his pupil’s mother, Lydia Robinson. In Brontë’s Mistress, Finola Austin explores this affair from Lydia’s perspective with both compassion and a good writer’s capacity to empathically—and mercilessly—depict her characters as fully-realized people, at both their best and their worst.ë

Lydia is the original Mrs. Robinson, and not only in name: a mother of five, trapped in a marriage with a cold and unaffectionate man, unfulfilled by the narrow role deemed socially acceptable for women, and desperate for love and attention, she finds herself drawn to her son’s tutor, the handsome, poetic, and much-younger-than-she-is Branwell Brontë. Continue reading “Bronte’s Mistress: A Novel, by Finola Austin — A Review”

The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review

The Clergyman's Wife, by Molly Greeley (2019)From the desk of Tracy Hickman:

Readers of Pride and Prejudice often compare Charlotte Lucas unfavorably with Elizabeth Bennet who bravely resists financial and familial pressure to accept a proposal from the comically inept Mr. Collins, the man who stands to inherit Longbourn upon her father’s death. While nothing but the deepest love will induce her into matrimony, her closest friend Charlotte decides that she does not have the luxury of waiting for love and quickly catches Mr. Collins on the rebound. Lizzy’s bold refusal stirs our hearts; Charlotte’s pragmatic and calculated choice elicits feelings of resignation and dismay. But I’ve often thought that Charlotte is unfairly maligned by readers, who seem to expect her to possess courage equal to that of Jane Austen’s daring heroine. Could a P&P-inspired novel offer Charlotte something other than a loveless marriage of convenience?

Molly Greeley’s debut novel The Clergyman’s Wife explores Charlotte’s married life in the village of Hunsford. The main storyline takes place three years after Charlotte becomes Mrs. Collins. Her life is quiet, Continue reading “The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review”

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