Friday, January 24, 2014


Santa (aka. my Mom) knows me very well. This past Christmas, she gave me Longbourn by Jo Baker. A "Downton Abbey" upstairs/downstairs take on the classic story of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A huge Austen fan, I was a bit skeptical of the approach to this new take on such a well known story. After the first page, I was sucked right into that world I thought I knew so well. Baker is such a strong writer in her own right and speaks for these lesser known characters while weaving in the P&P story line. She brilliantly gives more depth to those Austen characters, as well as developing her own, not afraid to address the reality of that time in England's history—poverty, war, class system, the frailty of women & children, race, slavery, and the darker side of humanity. Baker's characters and their lives make the Bennett family feel a bit petty in contrast due to their apparent ambivalence to this world outside their walls and society rules. Elizabeth always felt so strong and perfect, but with this side of the story, Sarah (Baker's protagonist) washes her underwear, gives her baths and watches her timidity as she became Mrs. Darcy. Baker peels back layer by layer Austin's story to it's bare bones that surprisingly gives me a deeper love for the imaginative take on the full story. 
(another review of the book here and Jo Baker here)

I would LOVE to see this on the big screen. Who would play Sarah, James, and Ptolemy Bingley? Here are my picks for the Longbourn Love Triangle:

James: Tom Mison, the newest Brit in town, can pull off the mysterious misery that is James.
Sarah: Wrenn Schmidt is up and coming and has a face that is sweet and strong. I think she would be a great Sarah.
Bingley: Michael Ealy is a no brainer with that smile and those eyes, exactly how Baker describes Bingley.

But until we can buy tickets, grab yourself the book and some comfy companions and hunker down for a great read during this cold, bitter winter!


  1. how dare you feature something that is sold out! I love that blanket too much. Crushed!

  2. oh no!!! I did not even notice that, or maybe it just sold out?? so sorry, alaina!

  3. I updated the wool throw to a gorgeous soft grey design by MacAusland Woolen Mills out of Prince Edwards Island. Another place on my list to visit one day! I am sorry the other one I featured was out of stock. pooy!

  4. I love how you can create tangible things from intangible inspiration!
    I want to cozy up in that gray gown and read the day away!

    1. Hi Liz- Thank you for your kind comment. I love that we both enjoy curling up with a good book, stay warm!