cover image Rational Creatures

Rational Creatures

Edited by Christina Boyd. Quill Ink, $15.95 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-9986540-6-5

This impressive anthology introduces the works of 16 gifted Jane Austen–inspired authors, whose short stories reimagine adventures of Austen’s characters and glow with the beloved novelist’s timeless blend of romantic intrigue, witticisms, and biting social commentary on life’s absurdities. The stories, which complement Austen’s humor, irony, and spirited heroines, bring back characters who are both loved (Elizabeth Bennet) and loathed (Penelope Clay). Some tales refer to love and loss, as in the well-crafted “Charlotte’s Comfort” by Joana Starnes, which features Elizabeth Bennet’s practical friend, Charlotte, who is married to the vile Mr. Collins; many others convey the “serious business” of marriage in high society, as Eleanor Tilney notes in “A Nominal Mistress”; and, in Lona Manning’s “The Art of Pleasing,” Penelope Clay is a naughty widow who is adept at the game of love. While these reimagined characters’ domestic situations vary—unmarried, married, widowed, spinster—they are Austen-esque in principle, desiring men who respect their intellect and strong character. Each author’s style matches the elegance of the Regency period; Austen fans will be pleased. (BookLife)