Friday, August 02, 2013

Jane, Actually - wonderful summer book, GIVEAWAY of 4 copies!!!

I've read a fair number of Austen-inspired novels and stories over the years, but believe me when I say that Jennifer Petkus's contribution to the genre--Jane, Actually: or Jane Austen's Book Tour--is unique, inspired, and an awful lot of fun.

I strive to avoid providing synopses of books in my reviews as I figure that most people know these already or can easily find them out, but it's impossible to provide thoughts on this novel without doing so.  In a nutshell, Jane Austen is back amongst us courtesy of the Afternet, which is a lot like the Internet but it also allows dead people (aka the disembodied) to communicate with each other and the living.  She has an account that has been verified (much like how Twitter celebrity accounts are verified) by a panel of Austen experts, and she is on book tour promoting her completion of Sanditon.

Petkus does a marvelous job providing the disembodied Jane with a strong voice and a real personality--she can be funny, sympathetic, weary, egotistical, petty, loving, engaging, and wise in the way that only someone who has been a keen observer of life for the past 200+ years can be.

The people, mostly living but a few dead, who constitute her current world are equally real, from the anxiety-ridden publicist, to the conflicted avatar (yes, Jane needs an avatar because she has no corporeal body, and a young actress named Mary Crawford gets the role), to the lovelorn Kiplingesque Janeite who is chatting her up in Afternet chat rooms.

The tension is also real--will a nasty Austen scholar prove that our Jane is not, in fact, the Jane?  Will Jane overcome her writer's block?  Will all hell break loose at the Jane Austen Society Annual General Meeting?

The plot was fun and the characters engaging, but I think I most enjoyed just seeing the whole Austen industry from inside the fishbowl.  I always say that Trekkies have nothing on Janeites and this book just goes to prove it.

I can think of no more perfect summer book than Jane, Actually.  It's part sci-fi, part chick lit, and pure fun.

Thanks to the author, I am offering some giveaways.  There are two paperbacks up for grabs, one for U.S. and one for international (non-U.S.), as well as two ebooks.  I'll be taking entries for one week--until 8 pm MT on Friday, August 9.  You get one entry for a comment (and please provide email, U.S. or international location, and whether you prefer paperback or ebook), and an additional entry if you also tweet about the giveaway (just let me know if you do tweet it).

Also, make sure you visit Jennifer Petkus's website for gobs of info on the book, Austen, and our wacky Janeite world.

BTW, the RoofBeamReader is hosting Austen in August - check it out for reviews, giveaways, etc.


  1. Hey, I just bought a copy of this book! Too bad I didn't know about the giveaway ... Great review. Can't wait to open up my own copy and start reading! :)

    1. Timing is everything! Hope you enjoy it as well :)

  2. This book sounds so interesting, I definitely want to give it a go so please can you enter me into your giveaway :) I'm in the UK and prefer paperback really, although read a kindle mostly, so would be happy with an electronic version too. Email is frawli1978[at]gmail[dot]com. I came here via a tweet from the author, which I will retweet now.

  3. This looks really fun - I love the idea of the Afternet, and seeing how Jane Austen would interact with modern folks. Thank you for the giveaway. I'm in the US and am ok with either paperback or ebook.

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

  4. What an interesting concept!

  5. This wonderful giveaway interests me greatly. The paperback would be appreciated. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. What an interesting book! I'm in the U.S. and would prefer a paperback. aobrien23(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. This does sound like great fun. I pretty much steer away from Austen spinoffs but I think I'll have to make an exception here!

  8. This books sounds right up my alley! I'm always on the lookout for creative Austenesque novels. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm in the U.S. and will read either a paperbook or an ebook, doesn't matter to me!

    diaryofaneccentric at

  9. I'm in the US, and would love to be entered - I'd prefer paperback. jennp421 at gmail dot com

  10. US reader who would love a paperback! mellyjoey at aol dot com

  11. sounds like my Wordless Wednesday snapshot might work in well...;)
    HapPy A in A !

  12. Great review. I am intrigued - will keep my eyes open for this.

  13. Sounds fun, Jane. I've pretty much given up on Austen themed books (apart from yours), but this is a great concept.

    I'm international (Australia) and would prefer pb because I like the feel of real books but can live with ebook.
    mlcurrie at bigpond dot com

    Louise C (from Dregston)