Sunday, 23 September 2012

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!

I don't know if I'd already mentioned I was going, but I went away last week... to the least Jane Austen place in the world - Ibiza. It's not somewhere I've ever particularly wanted to go, being someone who likes to enjoy the culture of different places and really hates dance music, but a group of friends were going and I'm still (relatively) young so I thought, "why not?"

Yes, I did party quite a lot and had an awesome time with almost no sleep - but I actually got through three books too!

Firstly, I read Mr Darcy Forever which had caught my eye before I left so I thought I'd give it a go. It's by Victoria Connelly who also wrote A Weekend With Mr Darcy, which I read a few months ago. Each of her stories echoes Austen tales, so whilst A Weekend With Mr Darcy echoed Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy Forever was based on Sense & Sensibility - a story of two sisters who are very close but very different. One is reserved and careful, whilst the other is carefree and expresses every emotion she feels.

I won't give too much of the story away, except to say that at the beginning of the story the sisters go off to stay in Barton Cottage, which was used in the S&S film adaptation and we discover that something happened there which tore the sisters apart. We then follow them separately three years later as they both visit the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and begin to uncover what happened.

It's clear that Connelly is a huge Austen fan, as is every heroine in her books, so it's very easy for me to relate to them and whilst we all know where the stories are heading, there are still enough twists and turns to keep you interested.

After that I read The Wedding Girl, which was written by Madeleine Wickham (even keeping it loosely Austen!) - though she's better known as Sophie Kinsella. Sixty pages in I turned to a friend, groaned and said "I love these books but they're so predicatable" but I was very happy to be wrong. The story of Milly begins when she marries a gay, American friend to keep him in the country. Fast forward 10 years, it's four days before her wedding to dream man Simon and Milly has kept her previous marriage a secret from everyone. When someone from her past turns up, it's all threatened to fall apart. I was pleasantly surprised with this one - it was a lot more involved than I expected and definitely worth a read.

The third book I read was Lazy Ways To Make A Living by Abigail Bosanko. I originally read this a few years ago but coincidentally a friend had brought the book with her and when she finished it and I'd finished my two books I decided to read it again. Lexicographer Rose has a string of disastrous relationships behind her, a number of horrible part-time jobs, a passion for chess and a romantic nature - her favourite book is Jane Eyre and this story has more than a slight resemblance to Bronte's novel. Rose meets Jamie and begins a passionate affair, until - inevitably - it all goes awry. I forgot how much I loved this book, it's a little different to your usual chick-lit and again, not too predictable.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with my three books and I'm now reading another Victoria Connelly book called The Perfect Hero, which is Persuasion themed. I'll have to let you know how I get on with it!

Yesterday, I was feeling a little under the weather and spent all day in bed. Most would find this boring, but I watched the recent BBC series of Jane Eyre, followed by Wives and Daughters and finished off with googling my favourite scenes from North & South and Becoming Jane. What a day! I know how to live on the wild side...

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