Monday, August 19, 2013

Jane, Actually by Jennifer Petkus

The AfterNet: a worldwide network that allows the dead -- or disembodied as most prefer to be called -- to interact with the living via the Internet.
 Enter Jane Austen. Disembodied for almost 200 years, she's proven her identity, finished her novel, Sandition, gotten an agent, and is ready for her first book tour. But since she can't be seen, she needs a living stand-in -- an avatar. Enter Mary Crawford, a twenty-something out-of-work actress, who must now learn to embody one of the world's most famous authors. (An author she's never actually read.) And that's not all. There are also the scholars who don't believe Jane is the real Austen and want to disprove her, the fans who can't wait to meet her, the disembodied Albert who is falling in love with her, and her publisher who wants another book from her. Only Jane Austen has writer's block....

Like the real Austen's novels, the plot of this book, which seems simple at first, is deceptively complicated. And while I did like it, I didn't love it. Mostly because I had a hard time warming up to any of the characters. I'm not sure why. Maybe because there are so many, and Petkus' short chapters keep you jumping from one to the next so fast you never have time to connect, or get attached. Not to mention one or two loose ends I wish she'd resolved a little better. I'd give this book a B- or maybe a C+. Needless to say, I'm glad to be done...and even more glad to be able to open the pages of Mansfield Park next. Because no one beats the real Jane Austen!


  1. Great premise- sounds like it's too bad the book didn't work better.

  2. Thanks very much for the review. I'm sorry you didn't love it, but I love that you read it and reviewed it.


    1. I didn't love it, but there was actually a lot about it that I did like.

  3. Thanks for the review. Sometimes I find reading Austen-themed books just makes me want to read the real Austen. It makes me realize how much I love Jane Austen's books!