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Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe

Source: Author Jane Odiwe
ebook, 275 pgs.
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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.

Rating: Cinquain

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.

Other Reviews:

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe

Source: Author Jane Odiwe
Paperback, 318 pages
On Amazon and on Kobo

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe is a time-traveling romantic novel in which Sophie Elliot uncovers her ancestors connections to her beloved Jane Austen when she visits Bath after a tough break-up with her boyfriend.  Sophie is a young woman adrift after the end of her relationship and when she learns that she didn’t get the job she had hoped.  Traveling to Bath, she has romantic ideas about what this famous city would be, but it is more bustling than she expects, until she reaches her family’s home and finds that she has stepped back in time.

“My family had enjoyed a life of leisure, privilege and wealth, but in my Great-Granmother’s time the First World War changed everything.  The family fortunes dwindled along with the estates, which had had to be sold.  Now, all that remained was a black and white print of Monkford Hall, the manor house that the first Elizabethan queen had given in recognition of services to the crown, which my mother had framed and put in pride of place above what she had jokingly called her other “seat,” in the loo.”  (page 32)

Sophie wanders around Bath and finds a white glove, which she believes must belong to her neighbor, Josh Strafford, who is putting together an exhibit at the local museum.  His eyes are captivating, and his kind manner is endearing, but Sophie is not ready for romance, or so she thinks.  As she uncovers the secrets of her family in the attic and upper rooms of the house in Bath, and a rosewood box she’s given, Sophie falls deeper into the past, becoming a part of it — taking a vacation from reality.  In her vacation from reality, Sophie steps into the life of her namesake, Sophia Elliot, and learns that women are more constrained by society’s expectations than their clothes.

“I looked through the glass, but I couldn’t see Josh.  The dark, heavy doors needed all my weight to move them, but once I’d got them started they swiftly seemed beyond my control to stop.  Very quickly, the doors picked up a frightening speed and started to spin so rapidly it was impossible to make any attempt to get out.  Faster and faster they turned, moving with a force all of their own.  No matter how much I shifted my weight to lean against the one behind, nothing would slow the increasing acceleration of the revolving doors.  i clung to the brass rail with fear, shutting my eyes tight because I felt so giddy and nauseous.  It was only when the sensation completely stopped that I dared to open them.”  (page 82)

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe is about the love we seek when it sometimes is right in front of us.  Sophie must learn how to stand on her own, to know what she wants, and to reach out and grab it while she can.  Only when she has the resolve to be happy, can she truly take advantage of the opportunities and happiness before her.  Odiwe writes this time-travel novel in a way that makes it believable and readers will be as swept up in the past as Sophie Elliot.

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.

Other reviews of this author’s work: