|William Morrow Books|
Up first is The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. James presents the story as a diary of Jane Austen's has been found and it tells the story of a long lost love and how this love is reflected in Jane's books. The author does make it believable by mimicking Austen's style and does remind you of the romances in Jane's work, but more tragic. I liked the story and would probably read more by this author. It is not quite as good as Austen, but few things are, so it may not be for more picky Jane fans. The book club liked it, but they don't tend to like Austen so they were fine with it not being as descriptive and conventional. I give it 4 cups of cocoa for the fact that she made her story convincing.
Our second book club book was set part in Kentucky and part in South Carolina and was a family story. Teddi Overman loves antiques and restoring them or creating something new from them. Growing up, Teddi lived on a farm in Kentucky, where her mother was unhappy and wanted Teddi to find a good job as a secretary. Teddi instead runs away and creates a successful antique business in Charleston, South Carolina. Teddi's younger brother loves nature and is sensitive to the ways of animals. Teddi hates leaving him, but loves her job. When Josh runs away into the Red Gorge, the family is devastated. Teddi never truly gives up hope on Josh being alive and as poachers are attacked and one even killed, Teddi begins to suspect her brother and that he is living life as a nature vigilante. Teddi must make peace with her family in order to live her own life. I really liked this one and all the different family dynamics. Teddi learns more about her parents only after their deaths and Teddi is caregiver for her grandmother. Teddi slowly learns Josh's story and deals with the guilt of having to make decisions about the farm by herself. She finally opens herself up to love and trust a man, after seeing the strain her parent's marriage placed on her mother. All the book club ladies (this group is all women) loved this book as did I. It was a five cups of cocoa story for me.
I am still working on the last book club book of the month, but I think it is going to be a DNF for me, so I am going to post this without that review.