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Mansfield Ranch (The Jane Austen Diaries) (Volume 5) Paperback – June 4, 2014
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After reading the rest of the series in March 2013, I became a big fan of Jenni James's Jane Austen contemporary retellings. I waited impatiently for 9 months for Mansfield Ranch wondering how she would fit Mansfield Park into the series. And when it was finally released, I reread the previous books in chronological order (I waited on Northanger Alibi since it comes later chronologically) before finally reading Mansfield Ranch. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. Part of my disappointment may have stemmed from building the series up too much in my anticipation of this book but that wasn't the whole problem. This book disappointed me for a few reasons.
First: Sean and Lilly were not as likeable as the main characters of previous books. Sean lost some of the playful confidence he had in Persuaded and came off as a little cruel with how he treated Lilly. I had to wonder how much he really loved her if he was willing to repeatedly hurt her so much. And why didn't he ever contact her while she was away, not even after she reached out to him? Lilly was brash and while there's nothing wrong with being frank with people, I guess I would have preferred a bit more grace with her frankness. She just used words like idiot and moron too often for my liking. They weren't unlikable characters. I just had to exercise a bit more patience and forgiveness than usual in order to like them.
Second: Mansfield Ranch wasn't as romantic or satisfying as the others. In all fairness to Jenni James, I felt the same way about Mansfield Park. Too much of the book was spent tearing their romance down and not enough building it up.Read more ›
Series: The Jane Austen Diaries
Genre: contemporary; romance; young adult
Publisher: Trifecta Books
Publication date: December 22, 2014
Number of pages: 210
Grade level: 6th+
Other books in the series:
1-Pride and Popularity
6-Sensible and Sensational
Much of the fun in reading Austen adaptations lies in comparing the individual characters with their Austen prototypes. Of course, the tradeoff is that little in the basic plot line is likely to be a great surprise! For some Austen readers, Mansfield Park is a rather difficult novel to like. The problem is the central character, Fanny Price, who is pretty much the antithesis of Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett. Fanny is noble and virtuous to a fault, but she is so passive and long-suffering that she is often simply uninteresting. One wonders at times why the two main male characters find her so fascinating. In truth, Mary Crawford, the prototype for Mansfield Ranch's Juliet, often seems more interesting.
Jenni James addresses this issue by making her Lily Price a more assertive and well-rounded character. Like Fanny, Lily is generous and loyal, and she acts with love and dedication for a family which has largely failed to appreciate her merits and her general goodness. However, unlike Fanny, Lily defends her own interests, and spend much of her time suffering groundings and other punishments for her minor rebellions. While she is always the Good Girl in a big picture sense, she is no meek Fanny Price type when dealing with life's frequent irritations. She is less plater saint and more fallible human being, and the reader will love her for it.
In fact, Lily has to engage an environment that is in some respects more oppressive than that faced by Fanny.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as romantic as I would have hoped and much more depressing. The heroine handled her life better than I would have.Published 1 month ago by SJ Christensen
I absolutely love Jenni James!!! And all her Jane Austen remakes. But especially Mansfield Ranch. It had me snagged from the beginning to the end and I re-read it often. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ferrin Brandon
Jenni James knows what her audience likes and doesn't let her readers down. I enjoyed each page of this book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Linda H
I love Jenni James. I constantly reread the Jane Austen Diaries!!!!Published 13 months ago by Theresa Fletcher
This book was a great read I couldn't put it down ......it shows that when you truly learn too fin yourself you learn where you need to be .......inspiringPublished 16 months ago by Annalia Ryan
The title of the book is a discredit to Jane Austen considering how badly is written and poor story linePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Everyone needs to feel loved and needed. We all have something to contribute. I recommend reading this story.
Be kind to everyone!