Guideposts - General fiction
Emma's life has recently gone down the drain. A former professor at a prestigious university, she made her living studying Jane Austen and thought her husband was her Darcy or Knightley until a betrayal left Emma alone and jobless. Now she realizes Jane Austen's happily-ever-after romances have misled her.
Lured to England by a woman who claims to possess the correspondence Jane Austen's sister Cassandra told the world she destroyed, Emma ends up finding herself performing a number of tasks and only slowly getting a glimpse of a few choice letters that hint at the reason Austen chose not to share her secrets with the world. She's also thrown into the paths of two very handsome men, one of whom used to be her best friend.
What was Jane Austen's secret? Is Emma being led on a wild goose chase or will she be able to publish the letters and restore her tarnished reputation? And, what about those men?
I read Jane Austen Ruined My Life primarily because I was in the mood for something light; and, a quick perusal of the book made it clear that some fluffy fun was in store. Emma is a basically decent person in a disastrous situation. Low on money, out of a job and humiliated by her husband's affair, spending the last of her money on the chance that Cassandra Austen really kept her sister's letters is a big chance that could cost her dearly if it doesn't pay off.
What I liked about this book:
Jane Austen Ruined My Life is pretty predictable and I was in the mood for a book that was low on brain power. But, Pattillo still managed to surprise me now and then, which is always a positive thing. London is one of my favorite cities, so the setting is a favorite and I enjoyed reading about parts of London and locations related to Jane Austen that I haven't seen or experienced, yet. It was also very fun to read a book with a theoretical "What if?" about Jane Austen, simply because Austen is a fascinating character, herself. And, since Jane Austen Ruined My Life was published by Guideposts, it's clean. It does not, however, have any kind of Christian theme or elements, apart from the fact that Emma is the daughter of a preacher.
What I disliked about this book:
There were a few minor problems with the author's research and those kind of stopped me in my tracks, now and then, just to ponder how on earth she came to write them. For example, when Emma used the Tube, she didn't mention escalators or stairs and there was little description of the hustling, tightly-packed crowds. Instead, Emma boarded elevators. The London Underground is ancient and very unfriendly to the handicapped (and heavy-luggage burdened), although I can't say whether or not the stations the fictional Emma used did have elevators. Usually, they're really tricky to locate and a pain in the patootie to use, though, so it's an odd oversight. Most of the errors I caught or thought I detected (I'm no expert on London, myself) had to do with transportation.
Would I read this author again? Yes.
Cover thoughts: I used to write my thoughts about covers regularly and somehow managed to get away from doing so. This cover appeals to me because the soft edges and bright red against a muted background make for an eye-catching image, in my humble opinion. Does the cover give potential readers a decent idea of what's inside? Well, Emma never did lie around on a bench looking like she had a migraine, but she did sit on one and the cover depicts Emma's distress, so I'd say yes, it's pretty well done.
This is the 6th item I've read or watched for the Everything Austen II Challenge and I'm still pondering whether or not to wrap it up. I have an anniversary edition of the A & E Pride & Prejudice mini-series on DVD, which includes a Jane Austen documentary that I plan to view soon. So, you know . . . I'm going to carry on with my Jane experience, either way.
In other news:
It's raining!!!!! Squeeee!! We have had the longest stretch of no rain or hardly-any rain I think I've ever experienced in Mississippi, so it's pretty exciting. Also, I love a good thundery-rainy day. I spent all afternoon reading myself silly.
Just walked in (in the last week or so):
- The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook - from B & B Media for tour/review
- The Secret River by Kate Grenville - from PBS, with thanks to Paula for the recommendation
- Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye - from PBS, thanks to Amy's excellent review
Things I'm currently pondering:
- Why are people still signing up to follow my deceased cat on Twitter?
- Why haven't I bothered to remove my dearly-departed feline's Twitter account? Oh, yes, I remember. Not sure of the password, anymore. Eeks.
- Should I try to plot or at least come up with an idea for NaNoWriMo or just wing it, like I always have? Winging it seems to work better than planning for me, but I deeply desire to be a planner.
- Why am I suddenly in the mood to use bullet points?
Ah, the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon in London's lovely Green Park.
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