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Literary, etc

Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.

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Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen (The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, #2)

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen (The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, #2) - Sally Smith O'Rourke Sally Smith O'Rourke’s Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is the second book in her The Man Who Loved Jane Austen series. I haven’t read the first book, which takes the name of her series, and although I didn’t feel lost reading Yours Affectionately, I do feel I would have been better prepared had I read it. At the time I wasn’t aware it was a second book and it wasn’t until I read it that I felt certain events were missing. I do recommend you read the first book and then proceed to Yours Affectionately.Yours Affectionately picks up where The Man Who Loved Jane Austen left off. Eliza Knight has made contact with Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms in Virginia and brought him the letters written by Jane Austen herself. Eliza's arrival coincides with the famous Rose ball held annually at Pemberley Farms and she’s happy to immerse herself in a recreation of the Regency period. She dances the night away with Darcy and believes him when he announces, he time traveled to Austen’s time. Meanwhile in the 19th century, we get glimpses of Austen’s life shortly after Darcy’s departure. He made an impression on her and she still thinks of him. When her brother’s groom, Simmons, announces he wants to go to America to work for Darcy she tells him the truth. Armed with a package and a mission, Simmons manages to time travel to our modern period. What ensues is a lovely tale about love and trust featuring one of our most beloved heroes and author.Character development is strong. There’s a cast of secondary characters that are needed, but they don’t distract from the plot. They actually enhance it. At Pemberley Farms, Eliza gets to know Darcy through his employees and they help clear up any misunderstandings. As for Eliza, I have a feeling O’Rourke developed her more in The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, but I still feel we got to know her. She’s an artist and isn’t afraid to voice her concerns. On the other hand, I feel as if we got two different Darcy's; the first being, the one who shows a different face to Austen and the one who is most comfortable at Pemberley. As for Austen herself, she plays a minor role, but O’Rourke developed her enough for non Austenites to appreciate her.Yours Affectionately is well written and the language used for the 19th century scenes doesn't sound modern. I liked how O’Rourke used modern words and had Austen speak them, but always as an afterthought and explanation. I particularly enjoyed Austen thinking about our modern world and couldn’t help but imagine her in it. O’Rourke also does a superb job detailing the relationship between Austen and Darcy. Eliza at one point is jealous of that relationship, but it is clear that Austen is never far from Darcy’s mind and vice versa. I liked how she incorporated the past to run alongside the present. For example, Austen writing a letter to Darcy that turns out was resealed twice because his business card at one point was with the letter. That could only have happened in Austen’s time and yet in the present an Austen expert brings this situation to light and questions it. I debated with the rating between a three and a four. In the end, I decided on a four because of the emotions O’Rourke evokes when Simmons in our modern world and the confusion he has towards this century. Also due to the romance between Darcy and Eliza and how they grew to trust to each other.If you’re an Austenite, I recommended Sally Smith O’Rourke’s Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen. Just be sure to read the first book before delving into this one. You’ll see Darcy a little differently and can’t help but think, “what if.”This review is posted at Literary, etc.