A Jane Austen Daydream is a roller-coaster emotional ride through the love life of Jane Austen set against the background of her day to day ups and downs with her family and her struggles within the confines of British society.
I should note that I read Scott Southard’s blog and have had communication with him where he has answered questions I have about writing and publishing. He’s a very friendly guy and I recommend reading his blog where he offers advice to the aspiring writer and talks about his own life as a writer.
That said, despite my desire to at least give A Jane Austen Daydream a try, I kept putting it off because I have been staying within the realm of science fiction, fantasy and horror for some time. I couldn’t see myself visiting a place outside of my comfort zone and liking what I found, but one night, after being mired in a book that I felt was going nowhere, I opened a sample of A Jane Austen Daydream on my kindle and read. And read. And read.
As I mentioned several times on Twitter, Scott’s novel ate into my precious sleep time. I kept reading, hoping that Jane would find what she was looking for.
What hooked me though, and what I think would hook any reader, no matter their genre preference, is the witty, fun and genuine dialogue.
After a few chapters I found myself invested in the fates of the characters, particularly Jane and Cassandra, her sister. Scott’s Jane is the kind of woman most men would love to meet some day. She is strong, witty, kind and intelligent. I found myself living her dreams and hoping her hopes. I wanted her to find someone.
Throughout the novel Jane grows in character. At first she is rash, but over the years her personal struggles and the experiences she has with her family mature her. What remains constant throughout though are her charm, wit, and grace. She is one of the more enjoyable characters I have read in literature in some time.
The only criticism I have is that several chapters in I saw the pattern of the novel play out in my head. I could see how Scott structured the novel, and that moment of realization broke the dream state briefly. It’s a minor criticism because the story itself is wonderful, the characters endearing.
By the end of the novel you will, if you have a heart, feel for the characters, and you will be happy that you gave Scott Southard’s A Jane Austen Daydream a try.