My JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) Addiction
by Saucy Salad
2005 motion picture adaption, I began to yearn for books inspired by this adaptation and/or Mr. Darcy based on Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayal. I found two favorite authors who meet these distinct criteria. In fact, this site was among the search results that led to my discovery of Sharon Lathan’s sequels and after reading that series too many times to count, further investigation guided me to Linda Wells’ variations. My interest has been revived and has grown to such a proportion that I read JAFF and historical romance almost exclusively. I thought it appropriate that I make my confession on the very blog that birthed my obsession. I love the ingenuity and insight that both Lathan and Wells have brought to the sub-genre and would like to elaborate on the details that make their storytelling uniquely appealing.
Sharon Lathan (author of the Darcy Saga series) (sequels/continuations), consists of five volumes that focus on the continuation of the lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and his bride Elizabeth; a Christmas novella, two novels that feature Georgiana Darcy and the original character Dr. George Darcy; Book One of a prequel which recounts the period of Darcy & Elizabeth’s engagement (by the by, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Book Two of the Duo). Lathan’s series follows the love and day to day life of the Darcys and their friends. The first three novels focus almost exclusively on Elizabeth and Darcy and provide an intimate look at their first year of marriage. The plot is not filled with wild antics and high suspense, but is about the passage of time, their travels and how these events affect them. Gradually, other characters are introduced with their own tales gaining prominence. The fourth and fifth novels advance further in time, with increased action, excitement, and interwoven stories. This saga is told with a great deal of attention. I appreciate the continuity and the intricate details. One of the standout features of these books is the extensive Darcy family lineage. For example, during the course of her narrative, Lathan elaborates not only on the immediate, but the extended and previous generations of the Darcy Family. One of the outcomes of her imagination is the audacious and irrepressible George Darcy, who is the lead character of The Passions of Dr. Darcy. I can only imagine the tremendous effort it took to keep track of all the specific details and timelines that were mentioned in the previous novels. The reader comes away with a real sense of life in the regency era and the lives of these two people who become increasingly more attuned to one another and are deeply in love. It’s incredibly romantic, an excellent example of marital felicity and happily ever after. If you’re a romantic at heart like me, it gives you the hope that true love really does exist. Like Austen, it’s about people going through life and finding love. Visit Sharon Lathan's website here: http://sharonlathanauthor.com
Linda Wells’ Variations (what-ifs/re-imaginings), this author’s Pride & Prejudice inspired works include two regency stand-alones, two regency series and one modern. She is currently posting an ambitious work in progress set in World War II. Each book takes a unique approach to the original story’s sequence of events. Wells carries each tale in new directions that elicit a myriad of questions that are answered in intriguing ways. In my opinion, the best aspect of her stories and her signature is that she brings our dear couple together early and allows us to see their love mature. Wells’ Elizabeth and Darcy characters have intense chemistry; they are united and fiercely protective of one another. Their problems include adapting to each other, adjusting to the differences between their stations and simply dealing with outside circumstances. Wells develops each incarnation of the couple around the premise of the re-imaginings. They are all essentially the same, but completely different as a result of each specific set of conditions. I adore them all! I particularly enjoy her character development. The original characters are true to form, but their traits and behaviors have been amplified. Wells has a way of taking aspects of a character’s personality and details from the original novel that are mentioned or vaguely suggested and expanding them for further examination within the context of each story. It makes for more intrigue and leaves so much for us to contemplate. Case in point, in Wells’ Memory series, she magnifies Mr. Bennet’s indolence, Mrs. Bennet’s crass and obtuse behavior and explores the adverse effects their poor parenting has had on their five daughters. I can’t get enough of how Wells weaves elements of canon, comments from her readers, and facets of her own experiences into each story. That's what so awesome about a GOOD BOOK, you never want it to end. Thank goodness Wells knows how to write epic tales!!! Visit Linda Wells on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Wells/e/B001HO7GTQ
Although, these two authors differ in their respective categories, they share similarities and commonalities in their visions. They both create couples, who are caring, strongly connected and committed to one another; they grow stronger after conflict, communicate openly and regard the other’s point of view. For those who blush easily, each author writes Elizabeth and Darcy as a very passionate couple. They include lovemaking scenes that bring them closer together and illustrate the remarkable love these two people share. They laugh, love, cry and live with and for each other.
Reading can be a portal into another world – new fictional experiences might change your perspective on real, everyday life or spark great dialog. So when you need to escape reality check out these authors and others in this great sub-genre (Austen Authors,http://austenauthors.net; Good Reads, http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/405.Best_Jane_Austen_Fan_Fiction) – or if you’re in need of a JAFF daily fix, check out these popular sites (The Meryton Assembly, http://www.meryton.com; FanFiction, https://www.fanfiction.net/book/Pride-and-Prejudice/; Darcy and Lizzy, http://blog.darcyandlizzy.com; Derbyshire Writers' Guild, http://dwiggie.com; Austen Underground, http://austenunderground.com/).
© Natasha Shubrick is a P&P Blog guest blogger/contributor. She loves all things Jane and is a devoted fan of the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.