A Jane Austen Daydreamby Scott D. Southard
Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood
All her heroines find love in the end-but is there love waiting for Jane?
Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone's guess.
Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years-did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us-to a greater or lesser degree-are head over heels for Jane.
- Madison Street Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.84(d)
Meet the Author
Scott D. Southard, the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, swears he is not obsessed with Jane Austen. He is also the author of the novels: My Problem with Doors, Megan, Permanent Spring Showers, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, and 3 Days in Rome. With his eclectic writing he has found his way into radio, being the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on far-ranging topics like writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his two patient children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte.
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The author warns at the start of the novel that “This book is a work of fiction, only marginally influenced by the facts.” Southard imagines the author as living her work. The rich tones in “A Jane Austen Daydream” and playful meddling call to mind the madcap character, Emma. Jane’s witty rejoinders remind the reader of Elizabeth Bennett of “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane also experiences an anxiety of anticipation reminiscent of Lizzie before her Darcy came along. Jane loves love and she wants love. While not much is known of the thoughts and motivations of the real Jane Austen, what Southard surmises from her work is a very credible representation of what she might have been and he has written her story in a style flawlessly similar to the great author. Southard doesn’t rely on the great works to develop his characters instead putting in the legwork himself by showing us the characters in action and through the eyes of their community. There is a commonality in the family that flows in a logical fashion. Jane and Cassandra are who they are because Mrs. Austen is who she is. Mr. Austen is stern, as would be appropriate for clergy of the time, but he is caring and kind-hearted and generally wants the best for his children even when they’re not looking out for the best for themselves. Mrs. Austen lauds Cassandra for how caring she is but she, herself, mothers the community and knows the goings on in the homes of everyone she comes across because they let her in and want her there. I know a lot of readers out there will scoff seeing that the author is male that he could convey the finer emotions but I can’t help but imagine that Southard’s representation of what her life might have been life would make even Jane Austen proud. One of my favorite scenes in the novel comes early when a fortune teller marvels that Austen’s lifeline never ends. “It means...that you will never die” (Kindle location 353). This tongue in cheek nod from Southard to his reader shows an acceptance of a great truth. A writers work lives on. Austen herself may have died in 1817 but her work has always been in print and with fans like Southard preserving her memory, she always will be.
A Jane Austen Daydream is a roller-coaster emotional ride through the love life of Jane Austen set against the background of her day to day ups and downs with her family and her struggles within the confines of British society. I should note that I read Scott Southard’s blog and have had communication with him where he has answered questions I have about writing and publishing. He’s a very friendly guy and I recommend reading his blog where he offers advice to the aspiring writer and talks about his own life as a writer. That said, despite my desire to at least give A Jane Austen Daydream a try, I kept putting it off because I have been staying within the realm of science fiction, fantasy and horror for some time. I couldn’t see myself visiting a place outside of my comfort zone and liking what I found, but one night, after being mired in a book that I felt was going nowhere, I opened a sample of A Jane Austen Daydream on my ebook and read. And read. And read. As I mentioned several times on Twitter, Scott’s novel ate into my precious sleep time. I kept reading, hoping that Jane would find what she was looking for. What hooked me though, and what I think would hook any reader, no matter their genre preference, is the witty, fun and genuine dialogue. After a few chapters I found myself invested in the fates of the characters, particularly Jane and Cassandra, her sister. Scott’s Jane is the kind of woman most men would love to meet some day. She is strong, witty, kind and intelligent. I found myself living her dreams and hoping her hopes. I wanted her to find someone. Throughout the novel Jane grows in character. At first she is rash, but over the years her personal struggles and the experiences she has with her family mature her. What remains constant throughout though are her charm, wit, and grace. She is one of the more enjoyable characters I have read in literature in some time. The only criticism I have is that several chapters in I saw the pattern of the novel play out in my head. I could see how Scott structured the novel, and that moment of realization broke the dream state briefly. It’s a minor criticism because the story itself is wonderful, the characters endearing. By the end of the novel you will, if you have a heart, feel for the characters, and you will be happy that you gave Scott Southard’s A Jane Austen Daydream a try.
Jane Austen wasn't widely known in her own time but her reputation skyrocketed in the 20th century. Like Jane, I also believe in intense feelings of love and looking for love (maybe in the wrong places) but falling in love is a wonderful feeling. Jane Austen's novels bridged the gap between romance and realism. In A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM - we are introduced to a love story as well as to fortune-tellers. I also like fortune-tellers, and have had a couple opportunities in my lifetime to listen to a couple who told me of my future. I truthfully don't know how they did it, and I didn't believe what they were saying at the time, but they both told me things that did actually happen in my future. Now that I have said that - Another true fact is that a writer's work lives on, especially in an author like Jane Austen. She passed away in 1817 but she lives on in her work and in her fans like this author who is preserving her memory. Jane was a Georgian era author, best known for her social commentary in her novels "Sense and Sensibility", "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma". If I am correct - all three have been made into movies either for TV or the main screen. I think that it helped greatly that Jane Austen grew up in an environment that stressed learning and creative thinking and encouraged to read extensively.I like how this talented author, crafts his novel with Jane Austen spending her days writing and matchmaking until she goes to a ball that launches her into searching for her own romantic love. Scott D. Southard puts us into Jane's world and right in the middle of the action with this well-written and carefully crafted novel.I think he did a wonderful job with A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM, and I enjoyed reading his representation of Jane Austen. I particularly liked how he followed the outstanding period and best parts of her life. Jane was a very talented lady who died at much too young an age and whom I have admired for a long time. I hope you make time to read this novel. I believe you will enjoy it too. Jeannie Walker - Award Winning Author - "Fighting the Devil" - A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder