Austen Takes The South, Book Review

Dear Mary Jane Hataway,

I don’t know who you are, you may be one of my neighbors, you might even be the lady next to me at the grocery store (please don’t be the lady digging through all her couponsImage to save 25 cents). I wish I knew you, because, I would love to share a glass of sweet tea with you and tell you face to face, how much I love your books.Image

Being a die-hard Jane Austen fan I read anything related to her work. Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits and Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili Slaw Dogs were a pure delight. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, followed by Emma, and then the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelby. I know I have strange taste; right, we’ll talk about Frankenstein another time.

What I love about your books is the way they tie together the story line from Austen to everyday life. Ransom and Brooks are men any woman would love. Pure fictional, flawed men, perfect recreations of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley.

What I’ve appreciated about the characters in both your books and Austen, is the reality that is still so true today. How many people fail to communicate their true feelings for fear of being rejected? How many assume they know the truth, only to find out later we only knew half-truths on which we built our opinions? I know in my life I’m guilty of both of these. But in your stories and in Austen’s it all worked out in the end. Elizabeth learns the truth about Mr. Darcy, Shelby gets to know the real Ransom. Mr. Knightley finds his courage to tell Emma he loves her, Caroline realizes she is loved by Brooks. Does it get any better?Image

Mary Jane, when I return from my adventure I’ll be looking for your cool van with Austen quotes, and if I find out you’re the lady digging for the coupon, well, I’ll probably just give you the quarter.


A fan from Mountasia

P.S. Mary Jane I think it’s really awesome that you write under two names, I’m starting Virginia Carmichael’s Leaving Liberty next.


Everything I know about Mary Jane I have read on line, she is a mom of 6 kids, which she home schools, so I want to know how does she have time to write these great stories? Her husband never heard of Jane Austen until he met her. I was shocked, I thought everyone knew Jane Austen, then I mentioned Pride and Prejudice to Welder Dave and he gave me the deer in head lights look. OK, so not everyone knows Austen. I’ve yet to see a picture of Mary Jane aka Virginia Carmichael, but I know she like funky shoes, and she post some pretty easy recipes on her blog Yankee-Belle Cafe, so that would qualifier her as a great friend in my book.

Read her books and enjoy the great escape into the world of Jane Austen, but with a modern day twist.

Everyone commenting on this blog will be entered into a drawing to win a free book (you choose which one) from the Mary Jane. I’m so excited I can’t wait to see who wins.Image


27 responses to “Austen Takes The South, Book Review

  1. Oh, this is a great review! Thanks so much! And the quote has changed, because the car has changed. The van used to have “Obstinate, headstrong girl!” but now it has “Jane Austen is my imaginary friend.”
    A digital copy of PRIDE, PREJUICE, AND CHEESE GRITS or EMMA, MR. KNIGHTLEY, AND CHILI-SLAW DOGS will be given to two lucky commenters!
    Thanks again for the review, Ms. Stella!

  2. Loved both of these books! I have them in digital form but would love a paperback copy to give my Nana, I think she would love it as much as I do!

  3. This is great!! Enjoyed your review!! Would love to win. The book sounds fantastic. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson

  4. You can find Mary Jane on Facebook — that’s how I found her. She says she’s given up sleeping to make time for writing. 😉

    • heehee! Hi, Karen! From a talented author and artist like yourself, it’s a pleasure to be ‘found’.

  5. I just read “Leaving Liberty” the other day and loved it! Love your review, too. 🙂 And while I’ve never read any Austen books, I at least have heard of her, LOL.


    • Hi, Melanie! My daughter just read P and P. She loved it, but it took her a lot longer than most of her other books. It’s hard to rewire the brain to read in that Regency English, isn’t it?

    • Hi Linda! I think Persuasion is my person favorite for the romance. Nothing like a love lost forever, and found once more! But Emma wins in my book for sheer humor. Emma is hilariously kooky, and we love her anyway!

    • You better be! Of course, they have to get to your house soon. Which means I have to go to the post office. Which means I have to leave the house. Ooooh.

  6. I love Jane Austen, Emma is my favorite. Great review! These books sound intriguing and I’d love to be entered. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Austen Takes The South, Book Review | stellawheat·

  8. I will certainly add these to my kindle library. Cannot wait to dive into the ultimate escape with Jane Austen.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed these teo books and am waiting for one based on Persuasion (my personal favorite) *hint hint*. Enjoyed the review as well.

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