Grab your cowboy boots, we’re heading to Texas! If you’re a fan of Jane Austen retellings, then you’ll enjoy Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge! Jane of Austin is a modern-day Jane Austen retelling of her novel Sense and Sensibility.
I am a big fan of anything Jane Austen! Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen book, but I also really enjoy reading all kinds of books that have anything to do with Austen. Here are a few favs: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Jane Austen Project, and Austenland. Although, this barely scratches the surface when it comes to Jane Austen retellings, books about Austen, or other fan fiction surrounding her!
As a Jane Austen retelling, the plot obviously follows closely along the same path as Sense & Sensibility. In this modern retelling, there were a few liberties taken but overall Lodge did a good job retelling the story and making it fresh and fun.
The story starts with Woodward sisters trying to figure out how to “do” life in the wake of their father’s fall from grace. They are forced to become creative and resourceful and the end result is a Tea Shop in San Francisco. But, they are soon kicked out of their building and the story moves to Austin, Texas.
Austin provides a colorful backdrop and cast of characters to progress the story. There is, of course, lots of drama to move things along!
Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.
But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.
Sense & Sensibility is one of my favorite books. So, I have high expectations of any retelling of Sense & Sensibility!
I feel like Lodge did a good job following Austen’s original plotline. As with any Jane Austen retelling, Lodge took a few liberties to make the story her own. But, as I said earlier, she did a really great job of bringing Sense and Sensibility into the modern world. I thought Lodge made the story modern without losing the charm and wit of the original.
On the downside, I don’t feel like she was able to get the intensity of emotions like Austen could. I didn’t feel the same sense of betrayal by the Lucy Steele character. And, I didn’t have the same connection to the Edward character that I had in the original. I remember in Sense & Sensibility when Edward came back and was able to declare his love for Elinor, I had goosebumps. So, while my expectations were definitely high for this particular relationship and scene, I felt a little disappointed in not feeling it as deeply.
But, even with all that said, this was a fun story to read. And, even knowing the outcome of Sense & Sensibility, I found myself wondering how it would all come together.
If you’re a Jane Austen fan, and a fan of Jane Austen retellings, Jane of Austin is a fun and easy read!
This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info