Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Enthusiastic about Polly Shulman

Polly Shulman had a little book of hers called Enthusiasm come out in 2006. I found it in a tiny library in my city.  I took it home, read it, loved it and then bought the paperback edition. So it now sits on my shelf.
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Julie's friend Ashleigh can be called excitable since she has a habit of falling in love with things and in the process, dragging Julie along for the ride. While it's certainly never boring, it is starting to get out of hand. Especially, when Ashleigh discovers Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Julie's favorite book. Something she thought she truly had to herself.

Now Ashleigh talks strangely, wears floor length capes and wants to find her own Mr. Darcy by crashing a dance at an all-boys' school. The problem is that when Julie meets Ashleigh's idea of a real life teenage Mr. Darcy, she falls for him herself. What is Julie to do?


What I really enjoyed about Enthusiasm was that it was relatable. The characters could be people you very well know. And who hasn't followed one of their friends into a somewhat disastrous situation? Another thing I appreciated is that it was less of a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and more of a novel about the influence of Jane Ausen's book on young ladies of the world. How the book has inspired a lot of us to have unrealistic expectations about encountering our own Mr. Darcy.

It's also a great novel to introduce to younger readers who haven't even heard of Jane Austen or who find the task a bit unappealing/daunting. Maybe this novel by Shulman will encourage readers to pick it up and give it a chance.


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So now it's 2010 and she has another novel out this month called The Grimm Legacy and it sounds amazing. Any book that involves fairy tales and I am all over it like a chocoholic at a chocolate fountain .


Elizabeth has finally found a job and it is at a Circulating Material Repository, a sort of unusual library that specializes in the lending of objects. Things she never thought could be real exist in the lower floors of the repository, all of them beautiful and exciting. But there's one thing the other pages won't discuss, the Grimm Collection. A room that is the most carefully guarded and the most treasured.

So when items from that room start to go missing, Elizabeth is determined to find them and figure out who the thief is.

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