I know it 's been mentioned that three of us would be participating in this little venture, yet I've pretty much monopolized it thus far. For that, I'm not going to say I'm sorry. My co-bad-book-readers are, in fact, both educators, and I have nothing but respect for them, except for a smidge of jealousy. So they are busybusybusy gearing up for Spring Break and the yuck that leads up to it, while I am still adjusting to my new surroundings and spending more time reading all by my lonesome. But don't cry for me, Argentina (yes I went there). I'm having a blast getting my writing going again, and I hope someone out there in cyberland is enjoying.

Anyway, my story continues with a book that my mom checked out from the library. Realizing she had already read it, she pawned it off on me, telling me that it's my kind of book with lots of history and blah blah blah. She handed me this brick called Into the Wildnerness by Sara Donato. Once again, I relayed my feelings about this book on Facebook. Needless to say, if i'm complaining on my status updates ... it's bad. So here's what I had to say.

Caitlin is once again plodding my way through a book i don't like too much.

Caitlin : here's why:
1) it's a continuation story. y'know, like all those endlass book about the other bennett girls and mr. darcy's daughters and whatnot. i'm morally opposed to those. it's one thing to be inspired by your favorite book, but quite another to be so unoriginal (yes, i think it's completely unoriginal) as to "continue" some other author's book. imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery in this case, and i think right now J.F. Cooper would be dying to know that the continuation of Last of the Mohicans has become no better than a sordid romance novel. blech.
2) it's bad enough that LotM was brought into it. however, this author has also stepped into Merry O'l England, and yes, Jane Austen as well. how so? our heroine? elizabeth. that pretty little girl over there? kitty. a girl in the papers who runs of with a ne'er do well? lydia. a woman randomly mentioned in passing? jane! a woman from a memory? mary, of course! and to top it ALL off, how about a lovely visit to the Bennetts? ugh. ugghhh.
3) she's messing with Last of the Mohicans. that's my movie. and i've had the music in my head all day.
4) oh yeah, Nathaniel was the father, not Daniel. his name in the book was Natty. last time i checked that wasn't a nickname for Daniel. i'm pretty sure the movie did too.
but just to make sure, and to salvage my sanity, i'm going to put down the book (400 pages in, about halfway done), and watch the movie. i'm pretty sure cora calls him nathaniel. i'll correct myself if i'm wrong.

Megan : uhh what book is this?
Caitlin : into the wilderness by sara donati. some crap my mom got at the library and thought i'd like. not so much. i really take exception to her sullying the cave, which in the movie was a gorgeous and emotional scene. no, she turns it into the cave of deflowering. stupid stupid stupid. the author sullying the cave. not my mom.
Megan : Wow even the title is a rip off...sounds a bit too much like "Into the Wild" which happens to be a great book.
Kas : So basically instead of giving the character the proper name, which is Nathaniel, she gave him the name of the actor she thinks is super-hot (good old Daniel Day Lewis).
Caitlin : kas... yeah, pretty much. after rewatching the movie (so hard, i know), hawkeye is referred to as nathaniel. but never hawkeye. how bizarre. in any case, this writer is annoying.

AND, after reading a few more chapters last night, i discovered another P&P reference: the "heroine" finds out she's preggers and is trying to decide how to tell him. 'i'm pregnant' is too complicated i guess. but this was also the character that didn't know what to name sex.
anywho, she's musing about england, AND I QUOTE: "...Elizabeth thought of her cousin Marianne at an assembly ball, her mouth in a small moue of disdain as she whispered behind her fan: 'Imagine Jane Bingley dancing, and so obviously inceinte.'"
Now, why is that not simply the character referring to a favorite book? well, because all she refers to is Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, the Bible, and Shakespeare. Second, it's historically inaccurate. this book takes place just under 40 years after LotM, which was set in 1757. this is 1793. So, P&P didn't even exist as a point of reference for this character Elizabeth to make.
and megan, this book is 1998. i think it came before into the wild (the movie at least).
Kas : The book "Into the Wild" is 1996. Hm, the movie might've just used Nathaniel because the movie is so unlike the book. No romance in the book, really. Good old traditional American fiction, where it's all about the men.
Caitlin : well, nathaniel is certainly a better hero name than natty, in my opinion. suits the times, too. and yeah, it really bothers me that this is a "romance" novel. like, really bugs me lol. see above about desecrating the cave. uuggggggggghhhhhhh. so now i'm on page 617, and i've decided that reading the rest of this book is officially P&P bingo. all i need to complete the set are Georgiana, Collins, and Charlotte going diagonally, or Wickham and Fitzwilliam going across FTW.

SHE STOLE CAPTAIN WENTWORTH, THE PLAGIARIST! and yes, i went through the thank-yous quite carefully, and no, there was no shout out to jane austen.

Caitlin : yes, i'm so disgusted i sent her a facebook message. this is how it went:

my mother recently suggested that i read your book based on my love of historic non-fiction, such as the works of J. F. Cooper and Jane Austen. However, as a student and devotee to the integrity of these works, i had to let you know that i'm thoroughly disappointed in the lack of creativity in your novel.

i hope to god you have gotten complaints these last twelve years from other people who were also not impressed, as i have been, with your additions of Jane Austen characters to your novel without even a mention of her on your Thank You pages. i just stumbled across Captain Wentworth on page 719, after having found all five Bennett sisters (especially with a Lydia running away), the Bennetts themselves, and Jane Bingley.

I'm sorry you have an editor and a publisher who let you get away with this, and i'm especially sorry you have been allowed to profit in any way, shape, or form, without giving credits where it's obviously due. however, i'm glad that both Cooper and Austen never lived to see such awful liberties taken in the good names of their characters.

has i purchased this book, i would be demanding a refund. thankfully it's a library book, but be assured i will never be holding another one of your books in my hands again, except to move it in order to get a book worth reading written by an author worth supporting.

of course the grammar was better and i properly capitalized everything. give me some credit.

i guess, to explain, i should say that i'm so bloody mad because there are thousands of people out there with a story to tell. hell, i'm one of them, and someday i'll know how the words will make the sentences, and how the sentences will form paragraphs, and chapters.

but it's all going to be mine, my characters i've carefully molded to serve their purpose, and my little details that shape the plot into something meaningful and worth writing about. to see this breech of etiquette, and really, this show of a lack of integrity, is reprehensible. unforgivable, disgusting, uncouth, disrespectful, shameful. fill in the blank with your favorite one, that's how i feel right now.

and if you must borrow from someone else's work, like these god-awful continuation stories, then you MUST give credit where credit is due, even if the author is long dead. if we intend to honor them with what we think is a befitting tribute to the greatness they began, then we must, as writers and everything that comes with the title, acknowledge where we began too. ... See more

we cannot plunk in a jane bingley wherever we want, believing it to be a subtle tribute that a select few who are "in the know" will get. jane bingley is not mine. she is not a figment of a daydream by this heroine. she is elizabeth bennett's older sister, and she belongs to jane austen. and she did not deserve to be brought in this rubbish bastardization of a great novel that i'm sure will outlive her drivel. it already has.

sara donati, you have no shelf life. shame on you.

finished that ghastly book. in conclusion, it's a rubbish piece of fanfiction mixed with tawdry harlequin romance scenes that just so happen to take place in familiar scenes from a beloved movie. blech. i'm reading last of the mohicans to make the men manly again.

END RANT! I guess i could elaborate for you all, but that pretty much sums it up. 800 pages of really bad drivel. not a fan.

And to answer the question, no, I have never touched any of the "Mr. Darcy's Daughters" books or anything like that. NO. I don't need anything beyond what was written by Jane Austen. Her story is good enough, and I don't have a niggling curiosity about what happened after they were married. Because in the end, it's just a book. A good book, yes. But a book.


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