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According to Jane [Paperback]

Marilyn Brant
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.46
Price: 8.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Nov 2009
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go - sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.


Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing; Original edition (2 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758234619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758234612
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 15.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A literate spiritual guide! 24 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Lovely book. I really enjoyed the idea of Jane's spirit helping out the protagonist of the fiction. What a spiritual guide to have!
For sure my English would improve to excellent levels with an added laugh or two during the day.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story, enjoyable read 30 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. The premise is intriguing, and the story follows through to a satisfying conclusion. This would be a great beach read. If you remember the eighties, you have the added bonus of knowing the soundtrack woven throughout the story.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  104 reviews
56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even if you've never finished P&P, this is the book for you 23 Sep 2009
By Pamela Cayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I've had a pesonal battle with Pride and Prejudice for years, never making it beyond the first few pages. After watching first the Kiera Knightly version, then the BBC version with Mr. Firth playing Mr. Darcy (thankyouverymuch), I even managed to make it halfway through the Jane Austen classic, but finishing it was not meant to be. So it was a surprise to me how much I enjoyed Marilyn Brant's homage to this classic.

From about page 5 I was hooked. Ellie and Sam are charming, and I enjoyed watching them battle and banter their way along. (The 80s references were well enjoyed and appreciated as well!) Even as Marilyn brought Jane into the story, it was done with such a light touch that it was like adding sprikles to a sugar cookie--just perfect! However, I think the crowning moment for me was the first post high-school interaction between Sam and Ellie in the bar. I was expecting one thing, and totally got another, a lovely gift I wasn't expecting and just made me fall in love. I rushed through the book and finished it in less than 2 days. Now I can't wait for the paper version to come out so I can have that copy on my "keeper" shelf.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A P&P lover's take 15 Oct 2009
By Michelle N. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As an avid reader whose favorite book is Pride & Prejudice, I've read a variety of Austen-related novels in my time. According to Jane is not for absolute purists, much in the same vein as ITV's delightful Lost in Austen series was not. That said, I found it to be a thoroughly engaging and highly entertaining read.

The story follows Ellie and her relationships from ages 15-34. Throughout the book, the author flits in and out of time recounting Ellie's experiences as they become relevant to the story. As someone who generally doesn't like it when an author jumps around in time, I have to say that this non-chronological progression feels natural and is not confusing or distracting. In a way, it gives the novel a more intimate feeling, as though one were listening to a friend reveal her story piece by piece.

As some have pointed out, Ellie is a flawed heroine. She is naive, she doubts herself, and she often chooses not to listen to that little voice inside her head (not just Jane's, but her own) telling her something is wrong. The combination leads to disaster enough times that one would forgive Ellie for throwing in the towel. Yet, she never seems to give up on believing true love is possible. Ellie continues to seek it out and to give of herself despite the very real potential for heartbreak. That hopefulness and willingness to try endeared Ellie to me; her flaws made her real.

Sam is everything I'd hoped he be. He is that perfect mix of charming, intelligent, sarcastic, intense, and yet sometimes vulnerable---attractive and infuriating at the same time.

I won't spoil any endings here, but suffice it to say that this is a tale worth finishing. I loved Marilyn Brant's wit and insights and will be definitely be seeking out more of her work.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, fun and completely unforgettable 1 Oct 2009
By Reader with a shopping problem - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While the premise sounds odd (Jane Austen in a role similar to an invisible friend or "A kind of literary twilight zone thing"), the witty banter, lovable characters and unforgettable story take me to my happy "I don't actually want this book to end but I just want the characters to find what they're looking for" place.

Brant manages to jump around time and place without making you lose a second of the story to confusion. She has the rare ability as an author to take you from reliving your awkward high school years along with Ellie (and the traumatic male/female interactions) to within the psyche of a single, searching, adult woman in the next paragraph. Ellie is a unique female protagonist that I find endearing in her failures and utterly relateable in her fears, while trying to find herself (though I wish she weren't already worried about marriage at the mere age of 26!).

It's no surprise to me that this book took home the coveted Golden Heart Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements in 2007. Brant has the humor of Sophie Kinsella with the best-friend-esque (made that up) intimacy of Jennifer Weiner. The sex scenes are humorous in an actual funny, relatable way as opposed to the over-done, awkward to read (unless that's just me) scenarios found in other novels featuring "strong romantic elements."
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Take On Austen and Relationships 23 Sep 2009
By Erica O'Rourke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is no shortage of Jane Austen-themed books available to readers these days -- stories about the author herself, sequels to her novels, retellings of her classic tales of society and the search for love. Marilyn Brant's novel offers a fresh, welcome perspective. According to Jane goes beyond an update of a single beloved book and instead, imagines what Austen would have to say about love in the modern age. And Jane, unsurprisingly, has plenty to say.

Brant's Jane is as wry and witty as you would expect -- but the true treasure is Ellie, the modern woman receiving advice from Austen's ghost. She's charming, smart, and delightfully real. Her adventures in dating, and family struggles are both humorous and touching, and by novel's end, readers will be pulling for Ellie to find a love worthy of any Austen heroine.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding your own path.... 23 Sep 2010
By Andrea Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fun romance with a slightly paranormal twist. After discovering the works of Jane Austen in high school, Ellie is suddenly plagued with the disembodied voice of dear Jane in her head, commenting on daily life and dispensing advice just as she chronically does in her novels. Jane soon becomes Ellie's best friend and confidant and tries to help her steer clear of romantic pitfalls through her categorization of men. But Ellie can't seem to follow Jane's advice with certain men, especially Sam, leading to a string of hard lessons in romance. Over time, Ellie is able to find what, and who, truly makes her life complete and to find her own happy ending.
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