Modern Day Austen? Yes please!
Welcome back book lovers! We’ve missed you all over the last week or so. If you are loving our content, please do come on over and talk with us on our instagram page where we are a little more active. But in the meantime, stick around for at least three more minutes while we chat about our latest double read; Jane In Love by Rachel Givney (to be a movie through Amazon).
“If Jane Austen had the choice between the heart and the pen, what do you think she would do?
At age twenty-eight, Jane Austen should be seeking a suitable husband, but all she wants to do is write. She is forced to take extreme measures in her quest to find true love - which lands her in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
Magically, she finds herself in modern-day England, where horseless steel carriages line the streets and people wear very little clothing. She forms a new best friend in fading film star Sofia Wentworth, and a genuine love interest in Sofia's brother Fred, who has the audacity to be handsome, clever and kind-hearted.
She is also delighted to discover that she is now a famous writer, a published author of six novels and beloved around the globe. But as Jane's romance with Fred blossoms, her presence in the literary world starts to waver. She must find a way to stop herself disappearing from history before it's too late.
A modern-day reimagining of the life of one of the world's most celebrated writers, this wonderfully witty romantic comedy offers a new side to Jane's story, which sees her having to choose between true love in the present and her career as a writer in the past.”
A: I’m going to start off controversial… Sofia is such an annoying brat! I know she can be seen as similar to some of Austen’s characters but there is something about her behavior in the modern setting that really grates on me. I can see why her director husband decided to leave her as she is sooo selfish for the majority of this book. Her entire aim is to get him back because she wants him back and away from Courtney. I mean, she did redeem herself but it kinda felt forced to me and not genuine.
E: Okay we totally disagree about Sofia. I thought she was so sad! My heart went out to her immediately. All she wants is her husband to love her again. And she goes through this journey of realizing that having him back wasn’t going to solve the lack of love she feels for herself. I also liked how the author used Sofia to explain Jane Austen being in the present day.
A: Jane is an absolute delight. It is so cool to see some of her books and her characters intertwine to make this version of her and her life in 1800s Bath. And her naivety to our modern world is so perfect and adorable.
E: I liked this young Jane and I wonder if that’s what she was like in real life. She had such a big energy and so much defiance, I loved it.
A: Fred is actually really cool in comparison to his freaking sister. With his attitude at the bar after Jane was removed from the set and they couldn’t find each other, I was put off at first. But then when he waited for her for two hours at the train station? He learned and was so understanding even without knowing the full time travel situation like his spoiled sister.
E: Clearly you are not a Sofia fan lol. I liked Fred. He was easy to love, and I found something sweet and innocent about him and their relationship. Almost like I was reading a teen novel about first love. Not saying juvenile but just, sweet.
A: That whole scene with Sofia and Courtney for the acting challenge was priceless. It was the one moment that I was cheering for Sofia. But we also need to talk about Derek the make-up artist because I seriously need him in my life. Both for make-up when I don’t have the energy and for his amazing friendship.
E: I wish we had more time with Derek haha. Everyone needs a Derek in their corner. Also I would for sure watch him on YouTube.
A: So I think my favourite scene had to be Jane going through the museum of her own life and listing the things that are wrong about the objects and information. It made my history/ fact loving heart flutter in pure delight. I wouldn’t have been able to hold my tongue at all… and yes I would have been kicked out completely.
E: Totally agree! It made me think about how many things we’ve analyzed and taken for truth but we really have no idea. It would be so cool to see what we’ve gotten totally wrong because we didn't have access to the real person or time period and had to make a guess. And the sugar scene … I laughed out loud imagining a man selling a woman a bag of sugar who was handling it like it was either a precious child or crack. I mean it’s kinda not I suppose, I know I can’t live without it . It was a full circle moment that I loved, seeing her return to her time with her sugar in toe and selling it to the “future” shop. Those little serendipity scenes always leave me with warm fuzzy feelings and a smile on my face .
A: That sugar bag is maybe one of my fave characters haha. I’m going to bring up the number one question though it might just be me… but is anyone else tired of the “Hallmark” trope where people who have barely met (in this case maybe only two or three weeks) are suddenly so in love and are engaged to be married in that short of time? I mean come on… it is not realistic at all and it can easily make someone think that two weeks of knowing someone means that marriage is going to happen instantly.
E: You know me and this is why I love the slow burn so much. I don't want instalove. I want trepidation or reluctance, or hell even just friendship that becomes more through time. I was disappointed when marriage proposals were thrown around willy nilly. It also felt off to me to have her be so devastated in being rejected by a man she barely knew and talked to like, twice. It felt a little Disney to me and I wanted to be Elsa from Frozen and say “Hello! You just met. You are not in love and are not getting married”!
A: Thank you! I feel validated now.
E: Something that I found was that by the end Jane had dropped all her 1800s language, which was a bit disappointing. I don't think an entire upbringing would end in a few weeks in the present time.
A: I found the same thing. But I also understand that the author wanted to really show that she HAD to get back to the 1800s because she was assimilating too well into our world. Especially since this is being turned into a movie soon, aka the reason I wanted us to read this book. They had to quicken the assimilation process for the short time frame of a single book/ a single movie.
E: Overall this book was sweet and it was what I needed at the time I read it. It was a bit slow at times and thinking about it critically, it's not a “love” or a 5/5 star but it provided entertainment and was a lovely little book.
A: It was a “Hallmark” book… it was enjoyable and short and totally easy to guess what was coming next. I’d say it is a perfect beach read or a perfect little palate cleanser but still pretty well done. I can see why it was optioned for a movie for sure.
That's all for Jane, but we will be back with more amazing titles and some author interviews coming soon! Come on over to Instagram and let us know your favourite Jane Austen novels!
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