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Posts tagged ‘drama’

By A Lady


By A Lady

Image via Powells.


Title: By A Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen’s England

Author: Amanda Elyot

Year of Publication: 2006

Genre Keywords: drama, friendship, Georgian England, historical, Jane Austen, marriage, nineteenth century, romance, social mores, time travel.

Summary: Twenty-first-century aspiring actress C.J. Welles has never felt like she belonged in this time and place. But just as she’s on the verge of winning the on-Broadway role of her literary heroine Jane Austen, she finds herself transported through time and space to Bath, England, circa 1801. Despite her better-than-average knowledge of period social mores, she finds herself in dire straits almost immediately, until a chance meeting lands her in the role of a lifetime: posing as Lady Dalrymple’s unfortunate niece, Cassandra. Suddenly doors are opening for her, and she finds herself connecting with all the most important people in Bath, including the intriguing Earl of Darlington, Owen Percival, and his sharp-witted cousin – Jane Austen herself! Could this nineteenth-century world be where C.J. really belongs? And if that’s true, can she keep her liberated, modern self from humiliation when the rules of polite society tolerate no deviation from a moral code as strict as it is unfamiliar?

Who’ll Love It: Fans of Jane Austen and similar period literature will eat this up. The writing style is just the right combination of modern and old-fashioned to set the tone without becoming hard to follow, and the concept is creative and well-executed. But you don’t have to know Jane Austen to enjoy this as a dramatic and somewhat sultry romance novel. A few scenes are pretty racy, though – some readers may wind up reaching for the smelling salts before the end.


Regency gown with kidskin shoes.

Image via Dragonfly Formals.


Fashion Backward: There’s a veritable cottage industry online for Jane Austen enthusiasts, and if you’re fascinated by any aspect of the story, information is just a Google search away. Personally, I recommend an image search for “Jane Austen dresses” or “Regency gowns” to get a firsthand look at the fashions, which play a fascinating role in the book. The author’s commentary on very revealing gowns designed to denote virginity (because they’re white!) really piqued my interest. And our time-traveling heroine eventually finds herself in a great deal of trouble when her enemies notice that she wears the same outfit all day long, never bothering to change from a morning gown to a tea dress!

Cradle and All

Cradle and All

Image via Fantastic Fiction UK.

Title: Cradle and All

Author: James Patterson

Year of Publication: 2000

Genre Keywords: action/adventure, apocalypse, Catholic thriller, demons, drama, mystery, religion, supernatural, suspense.

Summary: At a time when the news is filled with horrible epidemics and tragedies, something very different comes to light – the story of two teenage girls, both virgins and both pregnant. Ex-nun Anne Fitzgerald investigates the situation, trying to figure out which girl is lying and which one could be carrying the Second Coming of Christ. Or is it the Devil’s turn to send somebody into the world? As she tries to sort out the implications of these two seemingly miraculous pregnancies, she struggles to keep her emotions out of the equation – her genuine affection for both girls as well as her growing desire for the attractive priest who first caused her to question her vows.

Who’ll Love It: If you like the apocalyptic thriller genre, but you also like a story with some emotional depth, this book blends the two admirably. Rather than employing gore and graphic detail, Patterson creates tension in the story by depicting the characters’ emotional investments in one another.

Crazy Resonance: As a young girl – seven or eight years old, perhaps – a Chris de Burgh song led me to consider whether the Second Coming would take place in 2000. I calculated that I would be seventeen that year and wondered whether I might be the next Virgin Mary. Not joking. That really happened. My first memory of thinking about it takes place in a parking lot at White Rose. I think it was winter. Seriously, people!

If you’re interested in hearing the song, it’s worth looking at this fan video somebody made on YouTube. Actually, even if you’re  not interested, it’s got some lovely images of the Northern Lights.

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