Thursday, August 29, 2013

Throw Back Thursday Pick: I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend



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Young Jane Austen fans are in for an once-in-a-lifetime treat that will sweep them back into the excitement of 1790s British society, fancy skirts, dashing gentlemen, and young love. Cora Harrison’s novel is a delicious combination of historical fact and fabulously crafted fiction based on the relationship between teenage Jane Austen and her cousin Jenny Cooper. I fell in love on page one and could not put this book down.

Jenny risks her life and reputation to escape the boarding school where she and her cousin Jane live in order to get a letter to Jane’s mother. Jane was direly ill and the headmistress refused to contact the family. Jenny happens to meet and fall desperately in love with handsome Captain Thomas Williams along the way. He charms her with his kindness and aids her in getting the letter to her cousin’s family. The Austen family quickly rescues the girls from the school and brings them back to live at Jane’s family estate. When Thomas reappears later in the novel, Jenny fears he will inadvertently ruin her reputation by letting slip how he originally met her. Can true love conquer all or will persnickety relatives get in the way in the name of propriety?

Prepare for a fun and fast-paced adventure as the girls learn about growing up, love, friendship, aspirations, and marriage. This novel is a rare gem in historical fiction and one I would gladly read again.

Reviewed by Jennifer Melville

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