Posted 27 October 2004 - 06:18 AM
I hope it's not too late to add my two cents to this thread. I was just wandering through the section and noticed it. As a Jane Austen Society of North America member, too, I was a little apprehensive about this one. YOu just so hate to be disappointed when people tamper with the great Jane, yet you can't help hoping that someone will revive something of her genius.
But I must admit I was underwhelmed by the book. It just didn't grab me and keep me grabbed. I was amused in many places but the fact that I was easily able to put the book and walk away from it many times tells me the characters just weren't fully realized enough to engage me. (and -- putting my persnickety JASNA hat on here -- the author's insistence on calling JA "Miss Austen" was most unfortunate and incorrect. As the second daughter, she would have been called "Miss Jane," hence the term "Janeites." Her older sister Cassandra was "Miss Austen" in the nomenclature of the time. A most egregious error on Fowler's part!)
But, in contrast, I must call attention to a 2003 Clare Boylan novel, "Emma Brown," which completes an unfinished Charlotte Bronte fragment (sniff, sniff, RIP Austen's "Sanditon"). This reworking of a master's theme/material/whatever is very well done and I had a very hard time putting this one down. I even made a perfect tear-leaking fool of myself, reading it on the sidelines of my son's soccer game.