Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe requires readers to suspend disbelief, and those fans of Jane Austen who wish she had written more than her 6 novels will surely have no problem doing that. Her death is averted by her physician, who has discovered the secret to immortal life with the help of the Turritopsis dohrnii in 1817. When Austen awakens she is in 1925, just after The Great War. Many families, including rich families, have fallen on hard times and experienced great loss as many lost sons, brothers, and husbands in the war. Times have changed for women, and Austen is able to get work outside the home to support herself, and although her family has passed on and she’s effectively alone in the world, she pulls up her hem and gets to work as a governess to five girls at Manberley Castle near the sea in Stoke Pomeroy.
“Having lived cautiously, and under strict rules and regulations for so long, Miss Austen felt the winds of change blowing across the Devon landscape.”
Cora, Emily, Alice, Mae, and Beth are a bit more to handle than Austen expects, especially as she is a little younger than she had been before the procedure. Upon her arrival, Austen is faced with staff who are eager to gossip, which rubs her the wrong way because she prefers to make up her own mind about people. The heir to the castle, William Milton, is one person who keeps her on her toes, and as Austen gets caught up in the drama of others, she begins to realize that her life would be empty without the Miltons in it.
Odiwe is one of the best writers of Jane Austen-related fiction, and it shows as she weaves in Austen’s own novels into her own novel. Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and more are illustrated in a variety of situations here, and Austen is at the center of them all. However, readers should be warned that Odiwe is not rehashing these plots point for point. Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe is her best novel yet, and if there were something to complain about, it would be that it could have been longer.
About the Author:
Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, consisting of annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen. She lives with her husband and three children in North London. Check out Jane Odiwe’s blog here.