Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston
Having loved almost all books written by Elizabeth Aston, I thought that this book would make a nice addition to my Austen bookshelf. However, I was left wanting with this book.
Georgina Jackson, a PhD in late 19th century history, has to be one of the dumbest PhD's in history! Not only had she not read Jane Austen, she was completely resistant to the fact for more than half of the book. There were many times that I wanted to smack her, tell her to grow up and act like a professional.
Ms. Jackson was given a task of completing a manuscript that was believed to have been written by Jane herself. She was given a very short time line in which to finish, and just barely made it. Along the way, I was sure that the author meant for Georgina to come to some self-discovery, but that fell short as well. The main character, Georgina, needed to be slapped and told to grow up. My favorite character in the book was Maud, and we didn't see enough of her, and I thought she was under-utilized as well. Maud was very sophisticated for a 16 year old, and I was really hoping that she would have stepped in more to help with the book project.
It is my opinion that this book could have focused less on whining and more on character development. I finished the novel, in hopes of seeing how the final project turned out. There were a few points along the way that I would have liked to have read what Georgina had written, but with the little description of Georgina's book, I would not have purchased it even if it were published.
I do hope that Ms. Aston goes back to the style of books that she wrote previously. One thing that I have loved about this author is that she has taken the genre and each book seems to be slightly different than the others in the focus - meaning mystery, human interest, adventure (except for Mr. Darcy's Dream... too short and not enough substance. Could have been better IMHO).
I would not recommend this book, unless you don't mind whining and angst over Jane Austen. I was hoping for more of what JA has given to the world of literature (which could have been better developed). The ending was rushed, but at least it wrapped up the book.