This week I branched out slightly from chick lit, and sort of went on a Regency bender. For the longest time, I've been wanted to read the book What Would Jane Austen Do? (romantic fiction), as it involved traveling back in time to the Regency. And I found it at the library with no holds so I could get it right away. At the same time, I found Lost in Austen - this was a short series on t.v. a few years ago and that came immediately from the library as well.
So on Sunday I watched Lost in Austen from start to finish (it's about 3 hours) and it was fantastic. I've always dreamt about what it would be like to go back in time through a book, and that is what happens here (Amanda Price goes through Pride and Prejudice) and it is intriguing, heartwarming and humorous - in many cases I think they hit the nail on the head when it comes to what might happen should competing centuries clash. Case in point, when Amanda lets it slip how much money she has (in 21st century terms of course), the Regency inhabitants are momentarily startled (as that money would be worth a lot more in their time), but then a rumour starts her father was a fishmonger and thus her money is worthless as she has no class (they couldn't fathom how someone who didn't come from money or who didn't have a recognizable last name could make that much). Anyway - if you like Jane Austen at all, this is a great series to watch.
Going to the book, What would Jane Austen Do? follows Eleanor Pottinger through time as she meets a pair of friendly ghosts and agrees to go back in time to help them in exchange for meeting Jane Austen. She also meets some beefcake in the form of Lord Shermont, who has some secrets of his own. But when Eleanor goes back to the present, must she leave the past behind?
Overall the book was a pretty good read, especially the depictions of country society in England at that time, and the characters were like able and well-rounded. However, the end of the book was a bit of a let down, as I felt it tied up loose ends too quickly and was a bit silly - living happily ever after and all that. But it is more of a romance so I guess I should have expected it. The part at the end that really bothered me had really nothing much to do with the story - just a footnote, how one of the main characters had "his doctoral thesis published to critical acclaim, and he had even turned his research into three successful historical novels". All in the span of two years. Now, this is probably because I am working on my doctorate, and currently trying to publish a paper, but, quite simply, it 'aint that easy. But otherwise, the story was not bad.
Before I finish this week's post, on a separate note, if you are in the Toronto area and use the Toronto Public Library (as I do), consider signing this petition to keep city council from making cuts to the library that threatens to close branches or privatize operations. As of today, there are over 12, 000 signatures, and it is one cause I think is especially important, as any library system should never suffer from cutbacks in today's day and age. http://ourpubliclibrary.to/