As a Jane Austen fan you may, like many, approach this book cautiously. Is it just another spin-off, carelessly adapting the legendary Austen to help promote a new book? How adept is the writer, or is he just one riding on the fame of one of the classic authors of all time? Or maybe he’s an Austen fan just attempting to get in on the vampire/ Twilight craze?
The only way to judge is to read this tale: where Jane Austen is alive and running a bookstore in a sleepy little town called Brakeston near New York. From here, she hopes to publish a new novel, the first in her persona of Jane Fairfax – since it would be impossible to trade on her real name, when she supposedly died 200 years ago!
But the publishing world is tough, and her manuscript is rejected 116 times, before a glimmer of hope comes her way. We watch her frustrations, as all sorts of Jane-Austen-paraphernalia fly off the shelf of her bookstore, and she has to deal with the commercial roadshow of getting published.
Along the way, we find Jane is in fact a vampire; though a mostly well-behaved one. She never ages, and this has an impact on how she lives her life, and has forced her to relocate many times in the last 200 years.
Her dream to be published yet again is hampered by others out for self gain. How she deals with these episodes is told in a witty way, that will have readers chuckling as they consider the consequences for all those around her. Can she really expect to live a normal life? Can she maintain normal relationships? What will happen when her real identity is discovered? And who is the handsome mystery man that has such an impact on those around him?
Michael Thomas Ford’s book has received praise from lots of different readers – including Austen diehards, vampire lovers and romance readers. And he promises more to come (and certainly leaves the ending open for more to happen in Jane’s life). It’s a fun, quirky mix of literary history and a send up of the latest vampire rage, while providing a light entertaining tale set in the commerce of the modern day world. So just sit back and enjoy the tale – you will have others wondering what you are smiling about!
## And here’s a quote from the author, in case you were worried that he didn’t think much about Jane Austen’s place in history:
The thing is it never occurred to me that making Austen a vampire was in any way disrespectful. Rather, I looked at it as giving her the chance to take revenge on those who have appropriated her literary genius for their own profit. I thought her fans (among whom I of course count myself) would cheer this opportunity for her to reclaim her rightful place in the literary world, even if she does have to do it under a pseudonym. From an interview in the Huffington Post, January 4, 2010.