#74 A Review of Jane Austen Made Me Do It edited by Laurel Ann Nattress

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Can you imagine a collection of famous Jane Austen fan fiction writers’ works all bound together in one glorious volume?  Well imagine no further, as Jane Austen Made Me Do It does just this.  Compiled and edited by good friend and contributor to the blog Laurel Ann Nattress (also a famous blogger herself, of course), this book intertwines multiple short stories that all deal with either Austen’s novels or Austen herself.  Smart, witty, and tons of fun, this work is a wonderful homage to Austen and the fan fiction scene that she spawned with her wonderful works.  It’s only regrettable that Austen herself could not see this great collaboration in action!

Since a normal summary would be odd, I figured I’d give you a short description of my favorite five!

Jane Austen’s Nightmare by Syrie James – In this short story, Jane has a nightmare in which all of her characters come to her in a dream and tell her what they “really” think of how she created them!

When Only A Darcy Will Do by Beth Pattillo – Elizabeth is trying to make extra money by giving tours of Jane Austen’s London.  One tour day a man shows up dressed as Mr. Darcy and shows her that chivalry isn’t dead.  Will she ever figure out who this mysterious man really is?

Heard of You by Margaret C Sullivan – Sullivan treats us to the back story of how Admiral and Mrs. Croft met and married with the help of a certain someone.

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverley – Elinor and her daughters live in the town of Chawton due to the charity of a distant family member.  The girls decide to pick holly and mistletoe to decorate their home for the Christmas holiday after a strange meeting with Miss Jane Austen.  Deciding to pick the mistletoe just might change their lives forever…

Janeites everywhere will be enthusiastic to know that this anthology is an eclectic mix of short stories aimed at pleasing all Jane Austen fans.  Whether your favorite Jane novel is Pride and Prejudice or Mansfield Park, there is a short story in here somewhere for you.  Every genre within the spectrum of Jane Austen fan fiction is covered: paranormal, contemporary, sequels, just everything.  Not only are all the genres covered, but so are all of Jane’s novels, as well as stories inspired by Jane herself.  It is one of these stories that was my favorite: Jane Austen’s Nightmare by Syrie James.

My favorite thing about an anthology is that it affords an opportunity for the reader to be introduced to a slew of authors that he or she might not have previously read.  Even though I’m a huge fan of JAFF and have read an enormous amount in the genre, I was still wowed by new writers.  I’ve eagerly started adding their full works to my to-read piles so that I can experience their fantastic storytelling abilities in a fuller form.

So, if you find yourself in want of a fun and new twist on the JAFF experience, definitely give Jane Austen Made Me Do It a try.  Perfect for a quick read between errands or a few short stories on a lazy day, this work will make you think of the time you first read something that was Austen-inspired.  I guarantee that you’ll find something that you enjoy!

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my thirty-second completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

This is my ninth completed review for the Chunkster Challenge

Jane Austen Made Me Do It by Laurel Ann Nattress
Random House Publishing (2011)
Paperback 464 pages

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