Laurie Viera Rigler
Frank Delaney & Diane Meier
Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Margaret C. Sullivan
…and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley.
"My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy's heartfelt words, then you, dear listener, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen.
In Lauren Willig's "A Night at Northanger," a young woman who doesn't believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter; Jane Odiwe's "Waiting" captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion's Wentworth and Anne as they await her family's approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani's "Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane" imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall's "Jane Austen's Cat," our beloved Jane tells her nieces "cat tales" based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler's "Intolerable Stupidity" finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany's "Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley's "Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss," a widow doesn't believe she'll have a second chance at love…until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.
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Mostly lackluster narrators and stories
A few of the stories had some of the wit and insightful characterizations I anticipated, but most were tangentially related. Many could have been any romance characters rather than Austen-related. Some were supernatural. Stand-outs were Maria Lucas's letters to Lydia Bennett (story and narrator both excellent) and the difficulties that occur when newly-married Mr. Knightly begins to make his home at his wife's home with his demanding father-in-law, Mr. Woodhouse.
No. Both the writing and narration of the stories are way too uneven in quality. Listening to the good ones does not make up for the duds.
Several people narrate the stories. The most frequent narrator has the most pedestrian, uninflected, slow voice I have ever run across among Audible's offerings; another multiple narrator is also far below typical Audible quality. Many of the stories suffer from snooze-inducing delivery. None of the narrators is excellent.
Yes. To take advantage of Audible's return policy after listening to about two-thirds of the stories.
- Jennifer Root