It's hard enough in ordinary times to keep up with all the books one might want to acquire. Paying attention in the aftermath of The Unfortunate Election was a special challenge. That must be why I was oblivious to the collection A Certain Persuasion: Modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by Jane Austen's novels, edited by Julie Bozza, when it first came around. I have remedied that oversight, as I have a great fondness not only for Austen's fiction but for creative re-tellings and extrapolations of her stories.
Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours. Being cousins-by-marriage doesn't deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children's governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for 'unnatural' crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family. Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth's breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he'd bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath. A Pemberley-sized anthology...
Austen wasn't a direct source of inspiration for the Alpennia series--except second-hand through the Regency fiction of Georgette Heyer. And even that inspiration applied primarily to Daughter of Mystery with its themes of disguise and mysterious parentage, first young love and finding one's way though the tangle of polite society. In some ways, Mother of Souls may hearken back to more Austenesque themes of the hardships women face alone in the world and especially their economic struggles.
The Great November Book Release Re-Boot is intended to re-shine a light on books release in November 2016 that may have suffered an unfair handicap at the gate.