Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo

English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.

In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty. (From Goodreads)

For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Ok, so I'm starting to admit to myself that maybe taking on the extra challenge for the Everything Austen Challenge may be a bit too much. Why, you ask? Well, the original number was six Austen-themed books/movies to read/watch. That means that this would technically be my final post in the challenge. I guess I just didn't anticipate the work I'm doing right now, and preparing for graduate school admissions. I'm sure I'll finish, though. I may be cramming the last few review in during December...

I'll just say that this book was cute. In all honesty, I think most Austen-themed books are meant to be this way. They're fluffy, and fun. What I liked about this one in particular, was that it spent some time focusing on Austen's past. One of the things that attracts me to Austen's books is the mystery behind who she was. There isn't all that much factual information on her life, and this book created an interesting theory behind why Jane remained unmarried.

I wish there had been a little more information about the past relationship between Adam and Emma. We know that they were once best friends, but I would have liked to have seen more. I wanted to know more about the nature of their friendship. I also wish that Emma could have fought against her sleazy ex-husband. If I had been in her situation (cheating husband, grad student who falsely accuses me of plagiarizing her paper) then I wouldn't run off to England. Although, I might blame Austen for giving me false expectations about love, like Emma did.

Overall, it was light and fluffy. I just wish that Emma had been a stronger main character.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life
By Beth Pattillo
Published by GuidepostsBooks
320 Pages (Paperback)
Rating: B-


Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

I love the title, an attention grabber for sure, lol.

Hoping you can find the balance to finish the challenge,you sure have lots on your plate!

Jessica said...

It sounds like avery fun book. I love the cover too, it's very eye catching. : D

Jessica W. - Book Bound

Andrea said...

It does sound like a cute, fun book. Great review!

Cecelia said...

You can DO EEET! Hahah. But seriously, best of luck with the rest of your challenge items. Watch some films - easy way to finish (it's what I'm doing, mostly...)!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I've been wanting to read this. Great review.

Unknown said...

I've never actually read a Jane Austen book... by her or about her. This one sounds cute, I'm adding it to my wishlist!

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