When my friend sent me an email telling me she was sending me an (unnamed) book because it made her think of me, I couldn’t help but be intrigued (who wouldn’t be?). I mean, I wondered if it would be something like the book my brother gave me for Christmas one year: John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life. It’s a great book, I can’t recommend it highly enough, I just wonder what about the book made him think of me?
So, upon opening the package (with great eagerness I might add), I laughed when I saw the title: Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo. My friend, she knows me well. Her gift to me is not only in keeping with my status as a full fledged Jane-ite, but a gift I thoroughly enjoyed!
From the publisher’s description:
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.
As Emma searches for clues and retraces Jane Austen’s footsteps, her quest is like National Treasure meets Jane Austen, resulting in the kind of smart chick lit that is light, pleasant, and just fun to read. Whether you, like me, love all things Austen, or whether you enjoy a literary adventure featuring a struggling heroine and handsome former flame, or if you’d love to one day visit London and the English countryside, I think you will find Jane Austen Ruined My Life to be just the ticket!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….