Threads of Jane Austen in Turning Pages

When I first started writing Turning Pages, I wanted to tell a story that wove the different Jane Austen books together in one, and I accomplished that, but I also ended up with much more. Addie took on her own personality, as she should - try writing a book with totally bland characters sometime - and there were twists and surprises throughout that I didn't anticipate. I love it when the story takes on a life of its own.

Regardless of how different the book turned out from my original idea, the Jane Austen threads are still very much there.

Pride and Prejudice - P&P is the backbone of the entire plot of Turning Pages. Addie is, of course, Elizabeth Bennet, and Blake is Mr. Darcy. They dislike each other from the start, and they must overcome their own internal issues to form a friendship, and, eventually, more. We see some direct correlations to P&P as Blake apologizes to Addie and tells her he's not good at making friends, and she counsels him to practice. Chase comments that he's never seen so many pretty girls in one library, echoing Bingley's comment to Darcy about the dance. We see further correlation as Addie tells her mother about Luke's indiscretion - their conversation is a modern retelling of Elizabeth's confession to Jane about Wickham. At the end, the scene when Addie tells her mother that she's in love with Blake is a modern retelling of Elizabeth's conversation with her father about Mr. Darcy. And of course, Melanie runs off with Luke = Lydia running off with Wickham. Blake driving around to find Melanie = Mr. Darcy hunting down Lydia and Wickham. Chase and Melanie's relationship = Mr. Bingley and Jane's relationship. Yes, Melanie is both Lydia and Jane.  It's tricky, but it's fiction, so I can do that.

Emma - With the age difference between Blake and Addie, he is very much her Mr. Knightly. He offers advice, whether solicited or not, and reins her in when she gets too out of control. When Mrs. Harlowe has the unfortunate experience of being on the other end of Addie's tongue lashing, Blake mirrors Mr. Knightly's lecture to Emma by telling Addie that her response to Mrs. Harlowe was "badly done." He then shows kindness to her afterwards, and Addie tries to make it up to Mrs. Harlowe, just like Emma did in the Austen story.

Sense and Sensibility - This thread is more subtle. Addie starts out thinking she's in love with Rob, but he doesn't really want her after all. She ends up with the older, more stable man, much like Marianne and Colonel Brandon in the Austen classic. My thought has always been, if you could have a man like Brandon, what on earth would you want with Willoughby?

Persuasion - This thread is also very subtle. Addie scares Blake by climbing the bookcase in the library, and when she slips, he's there to catch her. This mirrors Captain Wentworth's concern over Louisa Musgrove's fall from the wall in Lyme. Okay, so Captain Wentworth and Luisa don't end up together like Blake and Addie do - but this is fiction, and we can take some literary license, right?

Northanger Abbey - This one's probably not very subtle at all. Addie is addicted to books and sees her life in terms of books. Hopefully she's not quite as addicted as Catherine.

Mansfield Park - There isn't a blatant thread connecting Mansfield Park to my story, unless you think about it from the angle of unrequited love, and then yeah, that works.