Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like this book. I tried to like this book. I did my best to ignore it's flaws as they appeared. An Austen retelling with an adorable cover, the literary bar was not set high in my mind. This novel simply had to be adequate enough to allow me gleefully binge on pages of Jane mind candy. I've read some pretty horrible re-imagined Austen in my time and I adored every word of those mediocre stories. With this novel I just couldn't. The author didn't develop characters so much as she hammered the character's intended traits into the story over and over till. The plot and dialogue we simple and obvious and came across as scripted rather than natural. Even internal dialogue was unnatural and came across more like a stage monologue that any sort of natural inner discussion. Over explaining everything in order to "enlighten" the reader. Showing definitely lost out to telling in this novel... showing was completely railroaded by telling. The characters were so over the top in their "good" or "bad" roles to the point of being cartoonish. The story's 'hero' was a war veteran amputee with no family and in site of all that sympathy inducing back story he still managed to come across as a whiny, self-pitying, push over. None of the characters were particularly likable at best the were superficial and insipid at worse they were extremely annoying, extremely horrible, or both. This book just wasn't for me.
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