Having finished Jane Bites Back I immediately got a copy of the next two, this book and Jane Vows Vengeance from the library – YAY Kindle! I didn’t read this one quite as fast as the last one even though I was working from home, but it was just as well written and hilariously fun!
What I took out of this novel was how great Ford is at caricatures, not only of characters but of ideas and fads. I spoke about the Janeites and Brontëites in the last novel and how he brought those together, but he does it even better in this novel. There’s a giant love festival, don’t ask, and the culmination is a game between the two. Originally a softball match, it ultimately is a croquet match, fitting right, and the descriptions and tension are hilarious.
But back to the caricatures! Ford’s writing of these three novels is both an attempt at and a critique of those capitalizing on the Austen mania AND the vampire mania of the late 2000s and early 2010s. He tips his hat at the ridiculousness of some of the authors who write both genres and drops pop culture references like crazy which had me shaking my head in glee!
He takes it further, parodying bloggers and their attempt to capitalize/piggy-back on authors coattails, but in a walking-the-line sort of way. He talks about the necessity of them and the absurdity of them. Ford even writes a blogger character who plays a major role in this novel. She reminds me a lot of the bigger blogs and what a lot of people set out to do with their blogs (some more successful than others). It’s weird reading a writers critique of bloggers who critique them, but simultaneously quite a fresh perspective.
I absolutely adored the introduction of Walter’s mother, Miriam, and the rabbi, Ben. They work as great foils for numerous characters and I can’t wait to see where they go in the next novel. And he kept up Jane’s wit and her changing thoughts (we can only assume) over 200 years,
“Others, though, were there because they were in love with romance, with the idea of love. These were the ones she envied. How wonderful it would be to be so innocent again, to believe that love really could conquer all. It was sentimental and foolish to think such a thing. She knew that. All the same, she wished she could be one of those people.” (212)
What I do have a problem with, is the back blurb on this one. I read a copy of it online and was expecting something a bit different, but it could have been my misunderstanding. I feel like I read somewhere it said “reality tv show,” but looking for it, it must have been my misinterpretation. Oh well, just shows how much a back-blurb can change things around if you misread it.
Recommendation: Loved it! It’s a great follow up and just as fun as the first. Add in that it introduces even more great characters and I would definitely recommend it! I’m not sure where Ford will take the third novel, but it will be light and fun, and I can’t wait to read it.
Opening Line: “‘NOT AGAIN.’ Jane Fairfax gripped the steering wheel so tightly her hands hurt.”
Closing Line: “Jane took his hand. ‘We will be,’ she said. ‘We will be.'” (Whited out, highlight to read.)