A Jane Austen Daydream

Scott D.
ISBN Number: 

Drawn from Jane Austen's life and her literary works, author Scott Southard has dreamt up a semi-autobiographical/ fictional version of what her life could have been like. Woven within the factual parameters that are historically known, Southard uses clips of Austen's own literary dialogue along with his own, to give the reader his vision of how her life possibly could have been, i.e., art imitates life. Jane’s young adult years at the vicarage, her relationship with her family and her love life, are interwoven. Culled from Austen's own fictional works, the author uses phrases and ideas to pattern the authors' retelling of her life.

Mr. Southard describes Jane’s life so adroitly that one wishes the story could have been more ... exciting. There were fictional as well as real characters blended creatively, lending a bit of a twist to the plot as the story unfolded. The problem is the scant amount of rising action to engage the reader whole heartedly. Therefore, the reader is left unfulfilled as the last few pages are turned. Though well written, the fault could possibly lie within the historical facts themselves, limiting the scope that could have been imagined by the author working so hard to keep it closely factual. Still it is a nice daydream and an enjoyable way to envision an iconic life.

Beth Chamberlin