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Central Park (Austen (Harvest House)) Paperback – 31 Mar 2005
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"Thank you for thinking to write an update of Jane Austen's books. Making them into contemporary characters was a stroke of genius in my opinion!"
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, for the most part Smith does a good job of updating Austen's novels to modern times, which is no easy feat. I think the format of Christian novels works well, because Austen's novels take traditional Christian morality for granted. I also appreciated that Smith kept the updated version of Fanny so close to the original. When I first read Mansfield Park at age 18, it was as a shy girl with religious convictions, neither of which made me popular with my classmates. You can see why I adored reading about Fanny, whose personality and age was so close to my own and who, unlike other shy book heroines, didn't have to magically become spunky or extroverted to be appreciated. Unfortunately most adaptations get rid of these characteristics in order to make Fanny more palatable to a society which values people like the Crawfords more. Smith doesn't alter the character substantially, and it's refreshing.
This isn't a great book, but I consider it a good, fluffy comfort read.
This series will hit the spot for the days when you want an Austen story set in Modern times. Added bonus- it's christian based. :)
I recommend the whole series!
The book is also not very clever; because each character is specifically one from the original, you know what is going to happen all the way through. I felt like it could have been a bit more creative (i.e. the updating of Emma in the movie Clueless was wonderfully done). As another reviewer mentioned, some of the plot points were a bit of a stretch (the date Hugh arranges without any response is ludicrous, especially when his e-mail to confirm it starts out "Since I haven't heard back from you, I'm assuming you must not be checking your e-mail.")
It was also kind of disgusting how Ethan is just all over the place with his emotions, even passionately kissing Carrie to get Franny out of his mind; it made it hard to feel like he loves either of them, more like he is a hormonal teenager.
All of that being said, I have read far, far worse Jane Austen related fluff, so it's a quick read and not as painful as it could be.
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