A Jane Austen DaydreamA Jane Austen Daydream by Scott D. Southard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There are so many things I want to say about this book that I don’t know where to start. This book made me angrier and angrier the more I read. As a Janeite who has been in love with Jane Austen and her books all her life, I was utterly mad.

First, this book pretends to be a fictionalized biography of Jane Austen. So far, fair enough. But I don’t think that taking Jane Austen’s characters and adapt them to said biography can qualify as that. In my opinion, it qualifies as lacking of originality. Come on! Be original! Create your own characters. The biggest example of this and the biggest flaw of the book is that the author portrays Jane Austen in the same fashion as she portrayed Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice; he goes as far as to portray the rest of his family members just as the rest of the Bennets. I was reading the book and I couldn’t stop thinking that I was reading about Lizzy once again. It’s true that Jane Austen had a strong personality, and whoever says that she lived a sad life should read a bit more about her life, but the way she is portrayed in this book is beyond ridiculous. I don’t imagine Jane Austen going all gaga over a man who she barely knows. And the book is not even historically accurate.

Second, the most pretentious thing in the world is to include yourself as a character in the book, and using your name, no less. But the epitome of pretentiousness is to include yourself as the love interest of Jane Austen, who would even defy her family in order to be with him. Hello? Are we going crazy here? I couldn’t believe my eyes, and at that point the only reason why I kept on reading was because I wanted to know what else the author was going to do in order to infuriate me even more.

Overall, the story is not only pretentious but also pedantic, badly written, in need of more editing, and inaccurate. If this book was meant to show admiration for Jane Austen, it was a pathetic effort and I think the author managed to insult her memory instead.

As a Janeite, I feel outraged, that’s for sure.