Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Share in the Conversation...Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a beautiful love story, romantic and poignant, laced with tenderness and tinges of sadness.  This novel takes up where The Man Who Loved Jane Austen ends.  It continues the lives of Eliza Knight, Fitz Darcy and Jane Austen. Although I would recommend reading The Man Who Loved Jane Austen first, it is not absolutely necessary as the author gives enough background without being redundant to make Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, a stand-alone story.

Eliza and Fitz have each feared getting close in a relationship, but are inexplicably drawn to one another. Because of these strange new feelings they want things to be right. They continue to see each other but are taking their relationship at a slower pace. In the meantime, an event is about to take place in 1813 England, an event that could change everything for Fitz and Eliza.

In this tale, the time traveler is Robert Simmons, Edward Austen’s stableman. With Jane’s help, Simmons goes through the portal to the strange new world of machines and electronics in present day England. He is in search of Mr. Darcy who made a lasting impression on the young man by his kindness and fair treatment of him. He appears at the estate from where Darcy had disappeared in the previous book. The owners are friends of Fitz Darcy and take Simmons in, giving him a job working with their horses.

When Darcy gets a package from his friends at Windsong Manor in Hampshire, with contents that can only mean one thing, he soon departs with Eliza for England. The questions raised, the answers sought and the story that unfurls is filled with intrigue and romance.  

The bond between Jane Austen and Fitz Darcy is ever present. That chance meeting has affected their lives in ways that neither could have imagined. Ms. O’Rourke spins this tale in a way that makes that meeting seem plausible and true. In my mind Fitz became the ‘real Mr. Darcy’, the man that loved Jane Austen and was loved by her…but how does this effect Eliza? What is her chance of being loved by Jane Austen’s Darcy? The road to these answers will keep the reader enchanted.

At times going from Pemberley Farms to Windsong Manor to Chawton Cottage was a difficult switch although I knew each change was necessary to the story. With reluctance to leave one setting I read on in eager anticipation of the next visit there while totally immersed in the new setting.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a touching and lovely fantasy. I truly loved reading a fictional story with Jane Austen as one of the main characters. I would like to think that she did know of the love and romance that she was able to capture in words and depict so memorably to readers for two hundred years.  The tinges of sadness that I felt were for Jane herself and for what might have been. I will not be forgetting this book any time soon as I was profoundly moved.

5 out of 5 stars 

This is my ninth selection for the P&P Bicentenary Challenge of 2013

Sally Smith O'Rourke is giving away an eBook of Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, with this review. Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. You have until midnight, May 27, to have your share in the conversation.


  1. I like the idea that a stableman would be so impressed by Darcy for his kindness and fair treatment of him that he would leave his own time - everything and everyone he knows - to follow Darcy. I hope Robert Simmons enjoys living in his future!

    1. OH, you do need to read this book! I thought it was so like Darcy to garner that kind of admiration.

  2. i would love to be entered in this giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com