9/21/08

Sunday Book Review

I thought I would review any books I have finished during the week, every Sunday as a featurette.

The first one I got through this week was 'Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict' by Laurie Viera Rigler. If you are a Jane Austen fan then you will enjoy this book. It takes the unlikely issues of time travel and Jane's world and brings them together in a fun read.

Without giving anything away, a modern day LA girl wakes up to find herself in 18th century England in the body and life of Jane Mansfield. What follows is a delightful read and a reality check for all of us who romanticise this period of history.

Ever looked beyond the beautiful dresses and men in breeches and wondered how awful using a chamber pot would be, or how unhygienic and smelly everything was back then. Well this book will give you both the romance and the reality in equal measure.

I read this book in just 4 evenings, so it's an easy unchallenging enjoyable and quick read. My only slight criticism with it is the ending, which I felt it could easily have been more satisfying with another 40 pages.

But it's still very enjoyable and I am glad I took the recommendation of Mary and bought it.

The second book I finished earlier this week, was the summer reading recommendation of a UK Sunday newspaper bookclub.

'The Scandal of the Season' is a fictionalized account of the true story behind Alexander Pope's famous 1712 poem, 'The Rape of the Lock'. When Pope composed his satirical epic, he was shining a spotlight on a suspected affair between the British aristocrats Arabella Fermor and Lord Robert Petre, two mainstays of the London party scene. The affair became common knowledge when Petre publicly cut off a lock of Fermor's hair, causing a huge scandal at the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish, it was just hard to put down. Although it is ultimately fictionalised; the characters actually lived, the central events of the plot are known to have happened and that definitely adds to it's appeal. The story races along through the eyes of Alexander Pope and a close female friend.

It's full of historical detail on locations, clothing, entertainment and also encompasses the political climate and a plot to overthrow Queen Anne. There is also little left to the imagination regarding the central love affair, so Jane Austen this is not!

If you enjoy these historical novels with a weighty romance interest and some intrigue, I think you will love this book and I highly recommend it.

So after a week sunk deep in crinolines, silks, men in tight breeches, carriages and Balls....I am now even further back in the 12th century with bloodshed, battles, castles and pestilence!

12 comments:

Stevyn Colgan said...

There's been a four part TV series running over here in Blighty called 'Lost in Austen' which you'd probably enjoy. It's all about a 21st century girl who loves 'Pride and Prejudice' and who suddenly finds herself inside the book after walking through a door in an old building. She causes such an upset (particularly when Darcy falls for her) that she then has to try to get the book back on plot. Very clever, very funny. I hope you get it over there!

Vintage Tea said...

That book sounds a lot like a tv program on in the UK at the moment so I'm guessing it's one and the same.

Victoria x

Daryl said...

Adding it to my list .. thanks!

:-Daryl

A Cuban In London said...

Yes, stevyn, when I read the tile and the blurb of hte Jane Austen's book I thought of the same series. I saw a bit of it the other night, but I've never been a great fan of Austen (had to do it in uni) so flicked to another channel.

Still, if it only took you four nights to read, maybe it's worth a read.

Greetings from London.

Sherri said...

Sarah, I am going to add both of these books to my wish list! Thanks!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Well how interesting, that 'Lost in Austen' show does sound like this book, especially the P&P obsession! Although in the book she isn't in the P&P story. I will take a look online and see if it ever comes available here.

Expat mum said...

Ooh thanks for those suggestions - both really appeal to me. When I first had to read J Austen (at school) I thought it really dull, but it's not till you get to the end of most of them, and then re-read them, that you start seeing so many nuances.
I have just finished "The Secret Life of Bees', which is being made into a movie but I can't figure out how it's going to be as good.

Laurie Viera Rigler said...

Hi, and thanks for the lovely review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Sarah.

I'm close to finishing the sequel/parallel story, which is about the 19th-century woman who has woken up in the 21st-century LA girl's life (and body).

I haven't seen Lost in Austen; not available on this side of the pond. But I've heard that a lot of people are comparing it to my book. (Which, by the way, will be out in a UK edition in March.)

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Wow! How cool is the above comment from the actual author!!LOL

Talk about a surprise when I saw this in my email, I will be looking forward to the sequel very much Laura.

Thank you for commenting!

Sandi McBride said...

I love it when I read a review from someone I'm pretty sure I can trust...I wrote my senior Dissertation paper on Jane Austen, I love her! Thanks for the heads up on this!
hugs
Sandi

pamokc said...

Looks like great recommendations and just my kind of reading! :)

Mmm said...

It's good to get that review for the Jane Austen type book as I was thinking of buying it for my wife, who just watched the last version of P&P for about the 6th time last night!!