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If I'm a Jane Austen fan, it's as an admiring bystander of the language, customs, and history of the Regency/Napoleonic era more so than as a Janeite or romantic. So, as I flipped the pages of Cindy Jones' book, My Jane Austen Summer, trying to decide whether or not to add it to my already lofty stack of books, I was braced to bolt and run at the first sign of words like swoon or limpid or cerulean orbs. I needn't have worried. I was hijacked and hooked anyway -- how'd that happen?
Blame Lily, Jones' overwhelmed-by-life's-harsh-realities heroine, who is fired for reading novels on the job, rather than fulfilling the banal tasks of her cul-de-sac career of routing payroll tax deposits. Getting fired for reading on the job -- oh yes, once upon a time, it could've happened to me.
Even today, whether reading a book I like or viewing a fav film, I fall headlong into another world, mesmerised to the exclusion of all else. My tumble into escapism now, though, is not to avoid the quotidian, but to ride point on a Quixotic search for inspiration, lionhearted answers, and ballsy challenges. I finger the last few pages of a book, willing the word-weaving to become a never-ending story. Marginalia and bookmarks bristle from every edge of my books. With films, I maintain a special list of titles, The Think Tank, my go-to for drenching my senses in "otherness".
I return from these excursions refreshed, ferocious, inspired. I'm stronger; I'm intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally well-fed, and after the first jolting bounce, I welcome the return to earth. Bring it on, world. I'm ready!
Albeit by a different route -- a journey occasioned and accompanied by Jane Austen herself -- Lily re-invents her life. Don't read My Jane Austen Summer expecting full-force fan fiction or a self-improvement guide. Do read it expecting a fast, funny, and sometimes quirky romp through a cast of characters who bear uncanny resemblance to people you know. Casting the movie 15 years ago, I would want Meg Ryan as Lily. Today --. I'll get back to you on that.
As the illustration at the top of this post details,
Jane-ites, Quixotes, avid readers, & admiring bystanders
can spend a relaxed evening with author Cindy Jones
on 27th March 2012.
Come, bring your questions
-- keep your pinky up, refreshments will be served! --
and tune your attitude to Adventure.
|See you on the patio, amigos!|