Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo

Professor Emma Grant has always had faith in the happily-ever-after depicted by her favorite author, Jane Austen. But where's Emma's happy ending when she discovers that, instead of a Darcy, she's married a Wickham who both breaks her heart and destroys her career? Emma sets off for England on a quest to reestablish her academic credibility by tracking down the lost letters of Jane Austen and finds a romantic adventure of her own. Fun for Anglophiles and Austenites alike. --Library Journal

My review:

Though not YA, this is a wonderful and not very well known book that I really felt deserved a review and a recommendation. For all you Austen fans, this is the book you want to be reading next.

What I love most about Pattillo’s Austen-based novel is that although Emma is lost in Austen, traipsing around England, reading Jane’s long lost letters and longing for a Darcy to call her own, the book is not a spin off of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or even Emma. In fact, Emma Grant has a bone to pick with the mighty Jane Austen. So original plot, spot on, she got, you’ll love to read about it!

The next best thing, apart from the amazing names, was the ending, I won’t give it away, but let me say this, I think Jane herself would be pleased to read the ending of this book, it finishes right where you would least expect and yet it presents itself in a manor so very, very Austen.

The book is about broken hearts, but there is adventure, intrigue and romance, without over-cluttering the pages in morose details of grief for Emma’s dearly departed former life. Of course, she feels pain, betrayal most of all, but the greatest betrayal is in the form of Jane herself, which moves the plot along nicely.

The only downer, and I feel I must mention it, is it is a bit slow at times, as I mentioned, the book isn’t cluttered, I wouldn’t have cut anything, but occasionally I felt the pacing was a tad off.

If you love Austen, I would read it, another book I would recommend while we are on the subject is Austenland by Shannon Hale.

Notes on the Names: My very favorite name was in this book, Gwendolyn. Already off to a good start. Emma, Grant, Adam, Hester, they all have a very crisp, clean, Britt feel, and I loved reading them all! In fact, this has been one of the best books I’ve read for names all year!

Thoughts on the cover: It’s almost a YA cover, it’s so gorgeous, sad, beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time! I love it!


Dazzling Mage said...

As an Austen fan, I wasn't sure if I was going to pick this up (picked an Austen Meets the Modern book once, and it just about drove me insane). But I'll definitely keep this one in mind!

Thank you for the wonderful and honest review.

Lauren said...

I've never heard of this one before, but I really want to pick it up now. It sound amazing, and I love the cover! Thanks for the review.