As much as I enjoyed Shannon Winslow’s Jane Austen fan fiction I figured I would enjoy her book based on her own characters and plots. Titled For Myself Alone, it is a romantic fiction set in the same time period as Jane Austen’s books. In fact the main character is reminiscent of the Miss King in Pride and Prejudice who inherits 30,000 pounds and lures Mr. Wickham from Elizabeth
Through the first two decades of her existence, Josephine Walker led a singularly uneventful and ordinary life that gave little hint of what was to come. She had done nothing in that period to significantly distinguish herself from her contemporaries by way of either excessively good or prodigiously bad behavior. So it was, therefore, a matter of considerable surprise to those who best knew her when, at the promising age of one-and-twenty, she became the concentrated focus of so much local speculation and gossip.
Josephine inherits money and finds herself to be the prime marital prize in the local economy. When her father’s gout makes a trip to Bath inevitable, she begs him to keep her fortune a secret so that whoever asks her to marry him will do it for who she is. And her dreams come true when she meets the breathtakingly handsome Mr. Richard Pierce. They quickly become engaged. Life couldn’t be better, except that her friend Agnes loses all her money.
Then Josephine finds her own life falling apart. She overhears her fiance and his father fighting over the woman he really loves and her fortune. She also finds out that the man she admires most in the world hasn’t behaved as honorably as she thought he should. She goes home in seclusion to figure out what she needs to do, thus becoming the subject of so much gossip. The story concludes in a very satisfying Jane Austen manner.
I am not entirely sure how much Shannon Winslow was inspired by Jane Austen, but I suspect it was considerable. Josephine seems to be like Miss King, minus the spots, in her situation. She inherits money and immediately becomes popular with the same men who couldn’t be bothered to be nice to her before. But she is also like Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey in that she goes to Bath and ea man. Her friend Agnes seems to be based one the character Lucy from Sense and Sensibility. She is very grasping and wants the man with the most money. Mr. Richard Pierce seems to be like Henry Crawford (Mansfield Park) and Mr. Wickham (P&P) – he’s not quite what a man ought to be. Arthur is reminiscent of Edward (S&S) and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion). Mr. Randolph Pierce is very much like the grasping Tilney father in Northanger Abbey.
It is a good clean book with no foul language or explicit scenes. It also a fun read and only $3.99 on Amazon.