Random Reads: Edenbrooke
I hate when people dismiss Jane Austen's works as "romance novels." Her works were witty, relatable, and an intelligent commentary on women's issues of that time period. In addition, she had a strong Christian faith which often showed itself in her novels.
It's no wonder so many authors fail when attempting to write Austen-like books. Over the years, I've been duped by novels that were touted as Austen inspired or that claim to be retellings or reimaginings of her popular books or characters. They almost always fall flat and I've pretty much given up on anything worthwhile coming out of the romance genre.
Until Edenbrooke, that is. This novel was recommended on a YA reading list I found online and it sounded intriguing. I suspended my disbelief and requested it from the library. I started reading and was sucked in right away and couldn't wait to finish it.
Now, this is no Austen rival. There's far to much swooning and sighing for it to be mistaken for that. But it is a well-written period piece with a strong sense of right and wrong and a sensitivity to the struggles women faced in a time when it was marriage or bust. The heart of Jane Austen beats in this book and can be considered Austen-like, which is pretty much as close as an author can hope for without becoming a copycat, in my opinion.