Today, we welcome Austen fan Rachel from The Edge of the Precipice, who is here today to talk about books inspired by Austen and Austen’s worlds. Stop by again tomorrow for a special giveaway sponsored by Rachel!
While they will never come close to being as rewarding as Jane Austen’s actual books, I do quite enjoy reading retellings and continuations of her stories, as well as books about people who read her books. Here are some of my favorites:
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay — Two friends visit a resort in England where they get to wear Regency clothes, adopt names from Austen’s books, and have some escapist fun. Then one of the friends suffers a nervous breakdown, and the other slowly realizes she needs to stop pretending she doesn’t have non-work-related feelings for a co-worker. It’s got rom-com vibes, but also friendship-based.
Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange — This retells Persuasion from Captain Wentworth’s point of view, told in journal entries. It’s kind of fluffy, but I think it very accurately captures the characters from Austen’s original. And seeing the story from a different angle is surprisingly rewarding. The other books in this series are also fun, but this one is my favorite.
Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge — This modern-day retelling of Sense and Sensibility focuses on two sisters who move to Austin, Texas, after a family crisis. They open a tea shop, make new friends, and fall in love. It’s told alternately from the Marianne and Colonel Brandon characters’ points of view, which was a really interesting take!
Pies and Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick — A mother-daughter book club reads Pride and Prejudice over the course of a year while one girl and her mother spend several months living in England. The other girls in the club bake and sell pies to raise money to bring their friend home for spring break, and they all learn a lot about friendship, love, and judging people based on first impressions.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi — This modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice is set in a Brooklyn neighborhood. A rich new family with two handsome sons moves in, setting all the teen girls aflutter. All except Zuri Benitez, who can’t stand the Darcy boys or the way she assumes they want to change the neighborhood. This is the only book on this list I can’t recommend to readers of all ages, as it does include some strong language and subjects that would be too mature for young teens.
Sense and Sensibility from Manga Classics — This graphic novel has manga-style artwork, and the story is told in slightly updated language. The art is beautiful, and I think the adapters really captured the essence of the original book and its characters. There are two other Austen books available from Manga Classics too: Emma and Pride and Prejudice. They’re both enjoyable, but I like this one best.
The Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron — A series of sixteen (so far) mysteries solved by Jane Austen herself! The mysteries are fun, the regency setting is well-researched, and the series as a whole is delightful. But best of all is the chance to imagine you’re hanging out with Jane Austen, who is portrayed as being intelligent, curious, witty, and clever.
Thanks so much, Rachel, for this fun panorama! Austenites, remember to stop by again tomorrow, August 10th, for another event giveaway, generously offered by Rachel. Don’t forget that our first giveaway ends on August 10th.