A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott Southard is exactly what it says it is – a daydream about the iconic 19th century author of romantic novels including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. This is Scott’s third or fourth published novel following Megan and My Problem with Doors (and possibly Three Days in Rome). He also has an older story being published as a novel imminently (Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare). You can read my thoughts about My Problem with Doors here, but what we’re really here for is A Jane Austen Daydream.
When I began reading this novel, it occurred to me that this book was going to read like a biography written by a novelist. In fact, I had to actually remind myself that this was a work of fiction. As I got further in, I was enthralled by those details that caused me to become immersed in the life of Miss Austen and her development into an adult.
[EDIT] – I started this review back in June and was stopped for whatever reason. I’ve seen it sitting in my drafts folder languishing but was afraid to see what I’d written. Well, I decided to take a look. I’m not going to spend a lot of time finishing it, but I’ll add a few comments.
I’ve not been a fan of gothic or Victorian romances for awhile. I’ve read Jane Eyre multiple times as well as Wuthering Heights. It’s true. I like the crazy. Nothing Jane Austen has written is particularly crazy. She wrote about people living lives. That said, her stories have lived on for over a hundred years because they resonate with people. Her characters warm hearts and give hope for weary souls. Scott’s homage to Miss Austen fits right in with its namesake. I won’t lie. When the main “love interest” showed up, I audibly groaned. In fact, I said a few less than kind words. People around me were gasping and pointing fingers. So it must be awful right? Nope, it’s not. Listen, if you can tick me off with a book, you win my respect. Scott has done it twice. He has my respect. And I kept reading. And I got to the end. And I started this review. And I didn’t finish it until today. I’ve let this “Daydream” marinade in my mind for nearly six months. Now, here we are, and I am actually looking back fondly on a story written by a lover who has mourned the loss of his muse and rejoiced after finding her again.