Review of Fanny: A Mansfield Park Story by
Alida L. Sewell, Ph.D.
is Amelia Marie Logan’s favourite Austen novel; she states in the Preface of Fanny: A Mansfield Park Story
that her purpose is not to improve on it. However, I think she has improved it significantly, not only in length, but also in character development, romance, and insight. She has emulated Austen’s style very successfully, as well as her humor, irony, and indirect free style. The story, as it unfolds, is dramatic, with surprises, misunderstandings, and suspensions.
The story starts at the end of Austen’s chapter 44 in the original Mansfield Park. (If you have Austen’s three volume edition, it is Vol III, ch.12). Austen only wrote 4 chapters after that, but Logan has given us 34 additional chapters to take the story in a different direction, one that Austen herself hinted at in the last chapter. The author sometimes takes authentic quotes from Austen and applies them to a slightly different circumstance in Fanny. For example, “She was, she felt she was, in the greatest danger of being happy, while so many were miserable. The evil which brought such good to her!” This thought remains perfectly apt in Fanny.
As with Austen’s other main characters, there is considerable growth in self-awareness and character, especially in Fanny herself. If you were disappointed in Austen’s rather bland and hurried ending of the novel, wrapping up the story in short order, you will be delighted by Ms Logan’s story. Fanny herself grows from having patient, quiet endurance under the humiliating treatment of her adopted family to being more expressive and having self-esteem and confidence.
I heartily recommend Fanny, A Mansfield Park Story
to all fans of Jane Austen and I look forward to any other books that Ms Logan may produce.
Fanny, A Mansfield Park Story – A Review by Vikki Silverman
What if Fanny had been sent for immediately upon the discovery of Tom’s decline? What if Henry had not run off with Maria but rather had gone to Norfolk as intended? What if he were not Fanny’s only suitor? And what if Tom had taken a turn for the worse? These and other questions are magnificently weaved with several twists and turns along the way concerning all involved. I particularly enjoyed the turn of events involving Julia Bertram.
Fanny, A Mansfield Park Story is Ms. Logan's first published novel. However, this authoress has been writing unpublished fanfiction for a number of years on fanfiction sites under another name. There is no mistaking that she is a seasoned writer, her style being authentic to Jane Austen’s regency era and the editing is superb.
Although this story is best enjoyed by those familiar with Austen’s Mansfield Park, I believe it is able to hold its own as a standalone work of fiction. For those familiar with the original, this variation begins while Fanny is still in Portsmouth. Her trip is cut short right in the first chapter as she is called back to Mansfield on account of Tom’s illness. Most of what I have revealed is stated in the first chapter so I am supplying no spoilers. You will just have to read this fabulous reimagining of Mansfield Park.
Read Brenda S. Cox's discussion of Mansfield Park and review of Fanny, A Mansfield Park Story on her blog: Faith Science Joy and Jane Austen
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