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What if Fanny Price was tired of being called "ungrateful?"
A re-imagining of Mansfield Park with a Fanny Price that you will cheer for!
Fanny Price, an intelligent but timid girl from a poor family, lives at Mansfield Park with her wealthy cousins. But the cruelty of her Aunt Norris, together with a broken heart, compel Fanny to run away and take a job as a governess. Far away from everything she ever knew and the man she secretly loves, will Fanny grow in strength and confidence? Will a new suitor help her to forget her past? Or will a reckless decision ruin her life and the lives of those she holds most dear?
This variation of Jane Austen's novel includes all the familiar characters from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, and some new acquaintances as well. There are some mature scenes and situations not suitable for all readers.
BlueInk Review: Like many others, Manning considers Austen’s Fanny to be too "insipid" a heroine to inspire reader interest. Thus, she alters the story beginning with Austen's play scene in Chapter XV. (The book offers a brief synopsis of earlier scenes for those unfamiliar with the original.) Manning retains Austen's characters, namely: Henry and Mary, the visiting, unscrupulous Crawford siblings; and Edmund and Tom Bertram and their sisters, who live at Mansfield Park with their mother and irascible aunt. Also living at Mansfield Park is Fanny, a shy poor cousin who is constantly harassed by her visiting aunt.
When Manning's Fanny finally decides to seek her independence by becoming a governess, she leaves Mansfield Park without disclosing her destination...
Manning incorporates into her narrative growing public opposition to the slave trade which maintains Mansfield Park and expands the role of the navy and Fanny's seagoing brother.
A Contrary Wind is an impressive feat. Manning.... emulates Austen’s writing style so well that she often seamlessly incorporates exact passages from the original into her narrative... The author creates engrossing tension through the escalating misdeeds of the Crawfords, whose just punishments will meet with modern approval.
Many try to emulate Austen; not all succeed. Here, Manning triumphs. She has retained Austen’s spirit, while providing a stronger Fanny who will surely win today’s readers.
Historical Novel Society: A Contrary Wind is well-written, keeping close to the style of Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I never lost interest and enjoyed the occasional comic relief.
Autenesque reviews: Brava to Lona Manning for her thoughtful twists and skillful execution in this variation... One aspect of this story that I enjoyed is Ms. Manning’s respectful renderings of Jane Austen’s characters. Her thoughtful and perceptive portrayals of these characters illustrate her keen understanding, and I’m happy to say she doesn’t take any character too far away from their original personality (like the film adaptations do!). I greatly appreciated the development of Fanny’s character throughout this story.
JustJane1813 blog: [H]er writing also captures the essence of Austen’s style and the time period in which she wrote her stories... Her creative storylines were bold enough to make this story a real page-turner.
First Impressions podcast: Her grasp of the vernacular of the Regency era is incredibly well-researched and accurate.
Lost Opinions.com: This is an excellent read. Rich storylines, authentic characters (old and new), and writing I found hard to discern from the original (truly that good).
GoodReads Review: If you had handed me this book and told me, “This was one of Jane’s alternate endings for Mansfield Park”, I honestly think I would believe that a new manuscript had been discovered and published for all of us readers who are hungry for more of Jane Austen’s works.
Amazon Five Star Review: It's an exciting book that kept me eagerly turning pages, wondering what was going to happen next. There are historical details and characters woven throughout as well as characters and names from other Jane Austen books. What's most impressive, though, is the way all the different plot elements intertwine. VERY Austenesque! While it's event-driven, Fanny's thoughts keep harking back to Edmund with regret and yearning. The writing itself is just gorgeous.
The third and final book of my Mansfield trilogy is in progress! Doing a lot of research and background reading.... publication date TBA but I trust sometime in 2019!
A Marriage of Attachment continues the story of Fanny Price as she struggles to build her own life after leaving her rich uncle’s home. Fanny teaches sewing to poor working-class girls in London, while trying to forget her first love, Edmund Bertram, who is trapped in a disastrous marriage with Mary Crawford.
Together with her brother John and her friend, the writer William Gibson, Fanny discovers a plot that threatens someone at the highest levels of government. Meanwhile, Fanny’s brother William fights slavery on the high seas while longing for the girl he loves.
Filled with romance, suspense and even danger, A Marriage of Attachment takes the familiar characters from Mansfield Park on a new journey.
Amazon Five Star Reviews:
This book continues with the same brilliance as its predecessor... I can't express how impressed I am with this author's fluid writing.
Needless, to say, I loved this book as much as the first. The wealth of historical events woven into this finely-tuned story line are seamless and enlightening. The writing is superb... So I must bide my time and wait for the next book...this year? I am definitely curious what the design on the cover will look like too!
Manning's writing style is so Austenian that I'm second-guessing the possibility of reincarnation. Okay, not *really*, but it truly does read like one of Jane's own books
Enjoy "The Address of a Frenchwoman," a short story about Tom Bertram of Mansfield Park, in this anthology. Also available in audio and hardback.
Praise for the audio version: "There wasn't one story I didn't like... and for me beautifully narrated by André Refig. André has a wonderful voice, the perfect English accent that suits the characters, and brings these Gentleman Rogues to life."
In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.
Diary of an Eccentric: What surprised me is the ability of these authors to make me feel some compassion for the characters I love to hate, like the heartache experienced by George Wickham and Tom Bertram in their stories, which emphasized the complexity of Austen's characters.
JustJane1813: As a fan of Jane Austen Fan Fiction, I can’t imagine a lover of Austenesque fiction not wanting to devour each and every one of these stories. Simply stated, these stories are, from start to finish, insightful, brilliantly plotted, and layered with that terrific combination of emotive tension and dry humor that Austenesque readers find so entertaining.
26/04/2018 Delighted to announce a new anthology from the Quill Ink Collective, coming in October 2018
In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, sixteen celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s brave adventuresses, her shy maidens, her talkative spinsters, and her naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.
Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.