“This book is no ordinary book, and should not be read through from beginning to end. It contains many different adventures, and the path you take will depend on the choices you make along the way. The success (or failure!) of your mission will depend on the decisions you make, so think carefully before choosing…” (page 3)
When we were growing up, my brothers and I loved to read the Choose Your Own Adventure books. In fact, it was probably the one series that we could all agree on liking. I enjoyed them because you had a certain amount of control over the story and you could read them more than once and still not know what to expect at the end. So I was really excited when Lost In Austen by Emma Campbell Webster was released a few years ago. A Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure… you can’t get any better than that! (I’m not so sure my brothers would like this one though!)
The goal of the book is the same goal as any of Jane Austen’s stories… a happy marriage. Your character is Elizabeth Bennet and all of the characters from Pride and Prejudice are here as well as many of the characters from Austen’s other books. So the decisions you make as you go along could lead to some interesting matches! In addition to the “choose your own adventure” aspect of the book it also has a point system you can use to judge how you’re doing. There’s little questions to test your knowledge of the time period and “helpful” hints like this:
“Don’t be stupid, his pride is extremely objectionable. If you can already appreciate the value of his pride, what can you possibly hope to learn from your interaction with Mr. Darcy? You are displaying an inappropriate level of psychological maturity.” (page 98)
The first time I went through the book, I ended up following right along with the Pride and Prejudice story and married Mr. Darcy. The other three or four times I’ve read it I made to sure to make some questionable decisions and the results were pretty interesting!
You are in control of Jane Austen’s characters. Happiness (or tragedy) is lurking throughout the pages and everything rests on the decisions you make. I absolutely love it!
From The Cover: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young Austen heroine must be in want of a husband, and you are no exception.”
Your name: Elizabeth Bennet. Your mission: to marry both prudently and for love, avoiding family scandal. Equipped with only your sharp wit, natural good sense, and tolerable beauty, you must navigate your way through a variety of decisions that will determine your own romantic (and financial) fate. Ever wonder what would happen if Elizabeth accepted Mr. Darcy’s proposal the first time around? Or ran from his arms into those of Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth? Now is your chance to find out.
Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure begins in Pride and Prejudice, but your decisions along the way will lead you into the plots of Austen’s other works, and even newly imagined territory.
Lost in Austen is a labyrinth of love and lies, scandals and scoundrels, misfortunes and marriages that will delight and challenge any Austen lover. Will Elizabeth succeed in her mission? It’s all up to you.
Just One More Thing: “You accept his proposal and after your average wedding you move to your husband’s average estate and live off your average fortune. You are occasionally visited by your average connections and you otherwise spend your days practicing your average accomplishments. Does this sound like a happy marriage to you?” (page 313)
This Edition: Paperback published by Riverhead Books (2007)
You Might Also Like: Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil G. Brinton (written in 1913, this is the original Jane Austen sequel and includes characters from all six of her novels)