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According To Jane [Kindle Edition]

Marilyn Brant
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Marilyn Brant's smart, wildly inventive debut, one woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart. . .

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. . .

"A warm, witty and charmingly original story." --Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

"An engaging read for all who have been through the long, dark, dating wars, and still believe there's sunshine, and a Mr. Darcy, at the end of the tunnel." --Cathy Lamb, author of Henry's Sisters

"This is a must-read for Austen lovers as well as for all who believe in the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending." --Holly Chamberlin, author of One Week In December



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brant infuses her sweetly romantic and delightfully clever tale with just the right dash of Austen-esque wit."
--Chicago Tribune

"A charming book." --Family Circle Magazine's "Inner Circle"

"Fresh, original, and lots of fun." --Barnes & Noble Review, "The Long List"

From the Author

~~~As a long-time and extremely devoted fan of the works of Jane Austen, I couldn't be happier that my contemporary debut novel featuring her as a character has been so well received. Many thanks to the readers, librarians and booksellers that have embraced this story and shared it with others!

ACCORDING TO JANE is the winner of: 

~~~~Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award for Best Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic elements, 2007

~~~~Single Titles Reviewers' Choice Award, 2009

~~~~Booksellers' Best Award for Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel, 2009-2010 ~~~

Product Details

  • File Size: 526 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0758234619
  • Publisher: Kensington Books; Original edition (September 21, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002OFVOVS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
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.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A P&P lover's take October 15, 2009
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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, fun and completely unforgettable October 1, 2009
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."
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Take On Austen and Relationships September 23, 2009
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Get Better March 20, 2010
Format:Paperback
Author Marilyn Brant worked as an elementary school teacher, a library staff member, a freelance magazine writer and a national book reviewer before becoming a full-time novelist. According to Jane is her first novel, which won the prestigious 2007 RWA Golden Heart Award. Her next, not yet titled, novel is set for release in 2010. Marilyn resides in Illinois with her husband and son.

One day in sophomore English class, Ellie Barnett's teacher assigns Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, and Ellie's world is never the same. Ever since that fateful day, the one and only Jane Austin has taken up residence in Ellie's head, her ghost guiding Ellie through some of the most difficult times in her life, serving as her voice of reason and a friend she can trust. As years of boyfriends come and go, Jane remains a constant, along with another not so cherished person, Sam Blaine. Sam, the cute bad boy in high school, has been a source of torment in Ellie's life. Through her college years and after, Ellie has found herself running into him at the worst possible moments. Ellie can't deny her attraction to Sam, any more than she can deny Jane her say. Could it be possible that even Jane Austin has something to learn about love? Jane claims he is her Mr. Wickham, but could he really be her Mr. Darcy?

Admittedly, I thought this was a peculiar premise for a book, but after reading it, in fact after page one, I can't think of enough positive adjectives to throw at it that could possibly give it justice. Told in first-person, this book jumps past and present smoothly, with an equal mix of sweet, funny, and heart-breaking. And, may I add, several `ahh' moments. I find this equally suited for young adults as I do for romance lovers, but would categorize it as literature with romantic elements.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Cute, light ready.
Published 19 days ago by Unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars That little voice - Where is your mind? Are you paying attention?
I have had this book on my Wish List after reading other stories by this author. And now it was offered by kindle Unlimited so I grabbed it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. L. Majczan
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun filled tale with a Jane Austin twist
Ellie Barnett is a sophomore in high school when she first is introduced to Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. Read more
Published 4 months ago by E. Heisler
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Love
I love this book. The protagonist's, Ellie's, romantic journey and self-discovery are sweet and angst ridden and I love the sexual tension between her and her main love interest,... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Katress
2.0 out of 5 stars According to me... this is a disappointment...
I was very excited to read this book. I am an Austen fan and after reading the reviews I thought this book would be a sure hit. Read more
Published 16 months ago by C. Gore
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellie Barnett and Jane Austen
(Small amounts of spoiler)

The title caught my eye at the shops. I was intrigued by the storyline. A girl who is haunted by Jane Austen herself. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Michelle
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't be the *only* one!
Yes, it was obvious from the beginning that Sam was going to end up being the hero. But I just can't understand why! Throughout the book, he was such a jackass! Read more
Published 18 months ago by G
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Read
I only have one complaint about this book, it needs an epilogue!
Otherwise, it's funny, sexy and a nice, light read. I really enjoyed it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by M. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of a longterm, quirky friendship
According to Jane is a beautiful, yet difficult book that I raced through in 24 hours. Is this statement an oxymoron? Read more
Published 21 months ago by Angie Kroll
3.0 out of 5 stars A Voice in Your Head
I think getting romantic advice from Jane Austen is unique and interesting. This is more explicit than you'd expect and as such I wouldn't put it in the YA category for sure.
Published on August 25, 2012 by S. Schaffer
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More About the Author

Marilyn Brant is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary fiction, and she was named the 2013 Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She wrote ACCORDING TO JANE, the story of a modern woman who receives dating advice from the spirit of Jane Austen (October 2009); FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE, a tale about three suburban moms, their marriages and what happens a decade or two after the "Happily Ever After" (a Doubleday Book Club and Book-of-the-Month Club pick in 2010); and A SUMMER IN EUROPE, a novel about a woman's journey of self discovery as she travels through Europe with her adventurous aunt's Sudoku & Mahjongg Club (a Literary Guild and BOMC2 featured alternate in 2011, and a Rhapsody Book Club Top 20 Bestseller in "Fiction & Literature" in 2012), all women's fiction releases from Kensington Books.

She's also a #1 Kindle & #1 Nook Bestseller and has written a series of fun and flirty contemporary romantic comedies, available as original ebooks. ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH were Top 100 Bestsellers on both Barnes & Noble and Amazon. DOUBLE DIPPING was a 2012 International Digital Awards Finalist for Best Contemporary Novel. THE ROAD TO YOU, a coming-of-age romantic mystery (October 2013), was a Top 100 B&N Bestseller. Her novella "All About Us" was included as part of the new-adult romance anthology, ALL I EVER WANTED (January 2014). PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT BET (July 2014) is her latest romance.

As a former teacher, library staff member, freelance magazine writer and national book reviewer for Romantic Times, Marilyn has spent much of her life lost in literature. She received her M.A. in educational psychology from Loyola University Chicago, dabbled in both fiction and art at Northwestern University, studied the works of Austen at Oxford University and is a Lifetime Member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her debut novel won RWA's prestigious Golden Heart Award® in 2007 and a number of awards since -- including the Single Titles Reviewers' Choice, the Booksellers' Best and the Aspen Gold.

Marilyn lives in the northern Chicago suburbs with her family. When she isn't rereading Jane's books or enjoying the latest releases by her writer friends, she's working on her next novel, eating chocolate indiscriminately and hiding from the laundry.

Visit her website: www.marilynbrant.com

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