“Smart, sassy and sensational, Jane of Austin is a classic in its own right; a book worthy of placing next to its Austen inspired tome.”
STORY: Change threatens to sweep the Woodward sister’s into its vicious cycle. In the wake of their father’s scandal, the sisters reinvent their life by opening a tea shop. Now, their landlord dies, and his family no longer want them. Forced to leave behind their home and business, the three sisters pack up and make the move from California to Texas, where distant relatives await.
Jane is the most impetuous of the three; Celia is the voice of reason; and then there’s Margot. A high school senior, Margot has had plenty of change in her life, but she also settles into their new life with little fuss. You see Jane detests the idea of leaving their home (and wonders at the real reason), and Celia just had her heart broken by the man she thought was “the one.” As the sisters navigate their new life, they must learn how to adapt to change, new friends, broken hearts and possibilities.
Jane of Austin, by Hillary Manton Lodge | Book Review
Reading this book is a unique experience. Not only did I have a read along with a fellow book blogger (#BookBesties), but also, the way I read it is unusual. Part of this experience included the audio book. Time and again I’ve said I wouldn’t like audio books, but as reading this is part of a read-along, I wanted a way (if needed) to continue to “read” this book when I had other tasks to accomplish. All in all, the experience is a very good one. (As an aside, the audio is fantastic; the female narrator gives each character a little different “voice,” and Margot in particular is a spot-on interpretation.) If you’re wondering what I think of Jane of Austin, let’s talk about it.Jane of Austin: Sisters, Tea Shops, Texas and Romance in a ‘Sense & Sensibility’ Re-telling. A review of the novel by Hillary Manton Lodge. #FWArchives #BookReviews #JaneAusten Click To Tweet
It’s been weeks since reading this book, and still I didn’t sit down to pen a review. Why? It’s one of those books that impacts its reader and stays with us long after the final page. These kind of novels are impossible to accurately put into words. The sisters are well written, and each personality reads a little differently than the other. Needless to say, this book is memorable in all the right ways. Though contemporary, Jane of Austin retells Sense & Sensibility really well. Of course, Hillary does adjust some of the key elements because what’s relevant in Austen’s world is no longer a barrier in ours. All are changes that work in the flow without sacrificing the heart of this story.
Each of the personalities is present. Jane (Marianne) is as one expects a contemporary Marianne to be; only she does have a tamer emotional “passion,” which I appreciate. Though some parts of her original character do carry over into this story really surprises me, each handles well. Celia is, unfortunately, pushed to the background because of the first-person POV switch off (between Jane and a male character, Callum), but what’s here is very like Elinor. Margot (Margaret) is perhaps the funniest character in the entire novel, though all of the eccentric characters we know from Sense & Sensibility are present.
Reading this novel is like a warm, fresh baked cookie (perfect since this book continues Hillary’s signature addition of recipes). It’s full of beautiful quotes, and lovely characters. The bond of sisterhood is genuine with bumps and bruises, and the journey towards love is full of heartbreak and swoony smiles. If there is a flaw I have with the book, it’s that we don’t see enough of the girls with their loves. I understand the “why,” I just wish we’d had more page time with them, and furthermore, that this book didn’t end. A reader can appreciate the simple and quiet moments that bond two characters (saying who would be all about the spoilers!), but again, because these characters are so dynamic, they’re missed when it’s time to say goodbye.
Smart, sassy and sensational, Jane of Austin is a classic in its own right; a book worthy of placing next to its Austen inspired tome.♥
A B O U T THE B O O K
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Author: Hillary Manton Lodge
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Source: Publisher provided – thank you!
Publication Date: 2017
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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Family
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book.