Scholars estimate that Jane Austen must have written close to three thousand letters in her lifetime, but only a hundred and sixty are known today. Austen’s sister Cassandra supposedly destroyed the remaining letters at the time of her death – but what secrets did Jane Austen have to hid?
Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should – a respectable marriage, a teaching job, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodiguously 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, 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. The reclusive dowager Mrs. Gwendolyn Parrot claims to have the author’s missing correspondence, but Mrs. Parrot proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the secrets Jane Austen had hoped to bury. As Emma learns more about the beloved author’s life, she comes to realize how much Jane Austen has to teach all of us. (c) 2009, Beth Patillo, Jane Austen Ruined My Life, book cover
I LOVED this book! I thought the writing was clever, entertaining, engaging and humourous. There was a mystery, some romance, a vicarious vacation in England, etc. In short, all I could want in a light hearted read. You don’t have to be a fan of Jane Austen or any 18th or 19th century author but that might enhance your enjoyment of the book. It has left me smiling two days later and that is definitely the sign of a great book. You won’t regret purchasing this book.