To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Jane Austen Daydream Paperback – April 2, 2013
Customers who bought this item also bought
"...Lovely, thought-provoking novel. Fans of Austen will adore this book."
- Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.
"Southard has taken the facts about the great author and woven them into a credible, touching, and also entertaining portrait of a life."
-Historical Novel Society
About the Author
Scott D. Southard, the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, swears he is not obsessed with Jane Austen. He is also the author of the novels: My Problem with Doors, Megan, Permanent Spring Showers, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, and 3 Days in Rome. With his eclectic writing he has found his way into radio, being the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" (sdsouthard.com) where he writes on far-ranging topics like writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his two patient children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
After bogging down in the beginning of the novel, I set it aside and then picked it up again when I was less rushed. Life at the time of the novel moved more slowly than it does now. It's best to come to a novel like this relaxed and without any hurry to finish it.
I was instantly plucked from the reality of the novel by the author's revelation about the American. At first I thought I would not be able to enjoy the rest. However, I had been hooked by Part II and so enthralled with the book that I stayed with it for hours, barely able to rise from my chair by the end. The author's writing skill was the lime sorbet that removed the bad taste of this course.
Perhaps it says more about me than it does the novel, but I was able to accept the prospect of an unhappy ending more easily than the happy ending that seemed to bring the story down from its towering heights to street level.
Now on to dessert!
I applaud the author for his skill in duplicating the style and substance of Jane Austen's novels, and for his understanding of what types of scenes readers enjoy reading. His concept was brilliant: "For how else could Jane look at life but as a story, a novel in which she was the main character?"
The story became more engrossing for me once Jane received the letter from Mr. Lefroy. His words and her reaction brought both characters to life. The event was significant enough to cause the first growth spurt in Jane's character.
I enjoyed the many references to Jane Austen's writing. Her accidental discovery of Pride and Prejudice was described thus, "Jane slowly stopped talking, a strange expression beginning to cross her brow as she became drowned in the flood of her own thoughts."
The author's portrayal of Rev. Blackwell was the first high point of the story. His character was so well drawn that he sprang to life in front of me. I recognized in him others who believe it is their duty to save us from ourselves. Rev. Blackwell: "In the hands of a good religious leader, an entire community could rise above the rest and become a shining example to the rest of the kingdom." And Jane's reaction to him: "If there are no books, music, or dance, how will the people smile?" Their relationship is one of two great comic episodes of the novel. Jane's bargain with Mr. Bigg-Withers is the other.
Jane's banter with the American during their Sadness Game was enjoyable to read and gave insight to their characters. The description of Jane overhearing readers discuss her novel also brought her character to life and is a good example of Southard's ability to channel Austen: "How she longed for that first moment in catching a stranger reading her book or, perchance, hearing people speak of her work over tea . . .she saw herself leaning back in her chair to give the conversation an ear, biting her hand to keep from laughing or speaking out loud."
The novel was summed up best with Jane's comment. "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?"
Southard's description of a writer's motives is right on target, gave me an appreciation of his aim in writing this novel, and sums up my own feelings about it: "…as any writer will tell you, it was not about financial gain. Publishing is about sharing one's work, the idea of entertaining another, reaching out like a hand looking for another's to hold--that is at the heart of the true writer's goals…"
The author's words best express my enjoyment of this novel: "A great author can make you feel for characters that you do not know and you are fully aware never existed . . .the greater the writer, the more you care for the illusion that they paint with words."
I am awarding five stars in spite of my fish course, because the author outdid himself with the dessert!
Southard doesn't rely on the great works to develop his characters instead putting in the legwork himself by showing us the characters in action and through the eyes of their community. There is a commonality in the family that flows in a logical fashion. Jane and Cassandra are who they are because Mrs. Austen is who she is. Mr. Austen is stern, as would be appropriate for clergy of the time, but he is caring and kind-hearted and generally wants the best for his children even when they're not looking out for the best for themselves. Mrs. Austen lauds Cassandra for how caring she is but she, herself, mothers the community and knows the goings on in the homes of everyone she comes across because they let her in and want her there. I know a lot of readers out there will scoff seeing that the author is male that he could convey the finer emotions but I can't help but imagine that Southard's representation of what her life might have been life would make even Jane Austen proud.
One of my favorite scenes in the novel comes early when a fortune teller marvels that Austen's lifeline never ends. "It means...that you will never die" (Kindle location 353). This tongue in cheek nod from Southard to his reader shows an acceptance of a great truth. A writers work lives on. Austen herself may have died in 1817 but her work has always been in print and with fans like Southard preserving her memory, she always will be.