So I was reading this book, The Butterfly and the Violin.
The story is told in two parts, connecting at the end of the novel. One half of the book is set in the 1940s and is about Adele Von Bron, concert violinist and Austria’s sweetheart, who is sent to Auschwitz when she is caught trying to help smuggle a Jewish family out of Austria. There she becomes a part of the Women’s Orchestra. She goes through all kinds of troubles, all the while doing the best she can to stay alive.
The other half is the story of Sera James, owner of an art gallery. She was left at the altar two years ago, and since then has been focusing all her energy into finding this painting of Adele, painted while she was serving her time. Sera has just hit a dead end, when she receives word from a California millionaire businessman, Will Hanover, who needs her assistance. Apparently his grandfather left the family business and estate to the owner of the painting, and so he needs to find the owner (he’s planning to contest the will). Sera and he have a rough first impression, but then start falling for each other. But is Will’s interest in Sera real or is he just romancing her to get what he wants?
So the book wasn’t that good. The author suffered from trying to do too much with the two story lines that it caused her to fall into overdone clichés and have a lack of character development. The book was rushed too fast to reach a conclusion, and to quote Wayne’s World they made it a “super happy ending”.
I didn’t care for it and thought it would be better if it had been focused on either storyline of Adele or the search of the painting instead of stretching the author with these two pairings. Adele’s journey is told in half points with a quick summary of what happened next, and Sera’s search barely anything as the painting felt like it was instantly discovered after the two “joined” forces.
So why am I talking about this?
When I was reading the scene in which the two characters Sera and Will meet, it seemed oddly familiar…
Yes Will (and don’t think I didn’t notice that connection either) is rude to Sera, insinuating that she is after his money. Just like Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, Sera becomes extremely angry with Will and storms out.
And of course, Will tries to make it up to her, it just takes him a few tries.
So of course the rest of the book has nothing to do with Pride & Prejudice, but it still just amazes me how Jane Austen continues to influence and inspire, even if it is something as small as a meet cute.
I talked about it a little back in my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, when I celebrated its 200th birthday, but I just find it amazing. I mean what a testament to your skill, imagination, intelligence, and work that people use your characters and relationships within their own work.
I mean this is just one example but there are thousands of books and films that owe it all to Jane.
Jane you are just so incredible that we just can’t think of anything better than what you have written. Looks like you will be sticking around for a looong time.
For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Baby Jane Austen
For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Death Comes to Pemberley
For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary