Austen in August Wrap-up!

Longbourn by Jo Baker (BCD) (4 of 5 stars)
I will admit that I couldn't wait to finish listening and picked up the book at work and read the last few chapters at lunch.  I really liked how the novel was set during the time of P&P but it wasn't just a retelling.  It was a whole new story and I cared more about what was going on Sarah, Mrs. Hill and James than I did with the parts that reflected the events of P&P.  
The novel is in three volumes and the third one was the hardest for me to get through.  It was like when a show you love ends a season on a cliffhanger and when it comes back it doesn't pick right back up.  The third volume covered a lot of background information and eventually caught back up with the ending of volume 2 (that's when I started to get desperate to be in the car).  I highly recommend this book!
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (4 of 5 stars)
I took my time in my rereading of MP. It was my first time rereading the novel since my first reading back in college. It was kind of like reading it for the first time, I rediscovered why I disliked some characters and why I liked others.  I found myself enjoying it more than I remembered the first time.  I saw a lot of myself in Fanny which really made me feel for her during a number of scenes. I did, however, dislike the end of the novel. I had forgotten that we get very little concerning the courtship of Fanny and Edmund. 
The List Lovers Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh (4 of 5 stars)

I really enjoyed it and think it's a great resource to have on hand. It's really just a book of lists. I can already tell I'll be using it as a reference for writing blog posts in the future!
Mr. Knightly's Diary by Amanda Grange (4 of 5 stars)
It was wonderful to get Mr. Knightly's take on the events of Emma.  It was a quick and fun read and I enjoyed the bits taken from Emma. I liked how we got to see how he realizes he is in love with Emma. 
A Darcy Christmas by Various Authors (2.5 of 4 stars)
This includes three novellas by three authors.
Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart. -3 Stars
This novella changes the end of P&P so Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth don't get married alongside Bingley and Jane.  Then it follows the basic plot of A Christmas Carol.  It was an okay story. Honestly the reason this got 3 instead of 2 stars was because there was a brief visit with Anne and Frederick!
Christmas Present by Amanda Grange. -4 Stars
This was the only story to stick closely to the characters of P&P.  In this one it's about a year after the end of the novel and something special happens on Christmas.
A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan -1 Star
I haven't read any of Sharon Lathan's books, but I've been told how great they are, and sadly I really didn't see it in these Christmas shorts. This novella, is broken down to all the Christmases that take place during the course of her series and her characterizations didn't work for me. 
Cassandra & Jane by Jill Pitkeathley (DNF)
I did not finish this book. I gave it a really good try, but I just couldn't get into the story. 

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