Monday, November 2, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge #7 - Intimations of Austen: Stories Inspired by the Works of Jane Austen by Jane Greensmith

Intimations of Austen: Stories Inspired by the Works of Jane Austen by Jane Greensmith
116 pages
Published August 2008 by
Source: Author

This is a collection of nine short stories based on the works of Jane Austen. Greensmith gives some of the stories backstories, some sequels, and others what-ifs. In one story, Greensmith finds out how Fanny Price overcame her jealousy and self-doubt that was threatening her marriage to Edmund Bertram. In another, we learn of a love that Jane Bennet had before Charles Bingley. And in the last, and longest, story, Greensmith poses this what-if: what if Darcy, in order to get Wickham to agree to marry Lydia, had to agree never to marry Elizabeth?

I read this as part of Dewey's read-a-thon. I figured I'd need something nice and short sometime around hour 18 and I was right. I was dragging so badly by that point that this ended up being the slowest I have ever read 116 pages. And it was no fault of the book. Well, maybe it was a little bit the fault of the book. Because I really liked these stories and I just couldn't make myself race through them. The book opens with a story written from Mrs. Bennet's perspective about her relationship with Mr. Bennet. Greensmith did a marvelous job of making me see what might have made Mrs. Bennet the person she was in Pride & Prejudice. Greensmith also mixed in a bit of the otherworld--in one story wraiths are central and in another handwriting appears in different colors to Mr. Darcy.

Ms. Greensmith does not attempt to write in a way to mimic Austen. She has her own style and, as these are short stories, things move along at a much quicker pace than Austen used while remaining true to Austen's characters.

I have a hard time with short story collections. I find that I'm generally better off if I don't try to power my way through the entire collection at once. I wish that I would have done that with this book. I enjoyed it a great deal, but I think I would have been better able to savor each story if I had taken my time with this collection. I do recommend it lovers of Austen, particularly if you also enjoy the spin-offs and sequels.


  1. Well then you need to read my blog so you can get some information about Edward. He is just wonderful. :)I hope I will have a chance to post something today, it is just that I have so much schoolwork that it takes all the time. :/
    I love the actor who plays him too, I think he is a good guy to play Edward.

    Great review, I really want to read this book.

  2. I really love this idea and I want to read these stories. I am sure it was a perfect pick for hour 18.

  3. I like short stories but I don't want to read them in one setting but savor them over a week or two.

  4. I do like short stories, but I prefer them bizarre or scary, because those are the themes I can't handle in novel-length. Not sure this book would be my kind of thing, but great review!

  5. Sounds good, but I need to read more Austen novels first! It'd be fun to read the novels, and then read the related short stories.

    Oh, and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for Only Milo!