Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith

Intimations. For the longest time I thought that said Imitations of Austen, which means to copy actions, appearance, etc., but the word, Intimations, well, it just sounds more English doesn't it? I almost travel back in time as it rolls off my tongue like liquid butter dripping off a hot muffin when I say it.



I'll admit, gulp - I had to look that one up. I suspected it held a similar meaning to its root, intimate, which means marked by close acquaintance or familiarity and that would perfectly describe how I believe the author feels about Jane Austen, but the word choice of intimation, I was happy to discover, brings Greensmith's ardor into even sharper focus.

Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith - A collection of short stories inspired by the words of Jane Austen. A hint, a glimmer. An inkling of Austen even. A whisper on a sun-drenched afternoon. These would've been perfect to read in summer, but winter it turns out was just as good. Better to drink it in with a hot, steaming beverage.

These stories are perfect for anyone who likes Austen even a tiny little bit. Perfect for anyone who has read these classics over and over again and wondered, what happened after the last word. Or even better, what happened before the first one! What made Frederick Wentworth return to Kellynch Hall in the first place? What if Elizabeth Bennet (holy cow gasp!) had married Col. Fitzwilliam instead of Mr. Darcy? What was going through Mr. Darcy's mind as he wrote that letter to Elizabeth after she'd rejected him? And the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet? Greensmith even tackled that one with a conclusion that brought a smile to my face.

Altogether a delight. And most importantly, she did not rehash the novels, a common complaint that drives me nuts with Austen fan fiction. All were very original and well written. But the highest praise I can give? After reading these, I had to watch and wanted to read Northanger Abbey and Persuasion again with a fervor.

So to that I say, a job well done then Greensmith.
4 stars

A special thanks to the author for sending me this book because my library had no copy. I'll pass it on to anyone who wants it.

CymLowell Also, be sure to check out Cym Lowell's Kindle giveaway on his Book Review Wednesdays! He always gives away the best stuff!


Serena said...

This sounds like a fascinating collection. Thank you for the review!

WordLily said...

I'm very curious to know what the bamboo on the cover has to do with Austen! Give me a hint? Doesn't seem very English.

Aarti said...

Austen is really experiencing a renaissance, isn't she? I am glad- she deserves it! I'm glad this book was a good one- I find a lot of Austen-inspired books can be a let-down.

L said...

A delightful read Serena, you should definitely give it a look.

I know WordLily, I wondered that too! I didn't get the cover either as I don't remember a thing about bamboo, or panda's or China even in any of her stories. Just an evil promise to that bastard Wickham! I know, he should've been impaled on a long stick of bamboo! Now there's an idea...

L said...

Aarti- I soooo here you on that count. I can only handle her lines being used so many different ways before the words mix together into constant cussing coming from my mouth in terrible rants. Ack!

But these were good. Only in one story did she digress a little bit, but the rest were more original I thought, than what I've seen out there so far.

Very pleasant reads.

Mel u said...

I have yet to read my first Whipple-any suggestions?-very well done review

Maria Grazia said...

Eagerly waiting to read this collection! Meanwhile, good review here!

L said...

Hey thanks Mel, but sorry, I've no clue what a Whipple it a really cool ice cream flavor? Sexy whipped cream for creative uses? Another word for a short story collection? No idea here. I'm old and don't know the lingo, so what does it mean already??

Maria - Yes! Read it with a cup of tea! I had a great time. Check out the author's website at