Jane Austen Ruined My Life
Author: Beth Pattillo
Publisher: Guidepost Books
Publication Date: Feburary 3, 2009
paperback, 270 pages
genre: contemporary fiction, chick lit
available @Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
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.
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo caught my attention mainly because of the title. I also love the cover to this book. I had to find out how a beloved author who has been dead for some time could ruin anyone's life.
Emma Grant believed in happy endings once upon a time. However recent circumstances have forced her to rethink her beliefs. Her marriage has fallen apart and she was recently fired from her job. The only thing that keeps her going is revenge. Revenge against Jane Austen. Emma seeks to expose Jane for the fraud she is. When Emma gets wind of the possible existence of letters written by Jane Austen and kept secret from the rest of the world she knows this is her ticket to getting her life back on track. Emma boards a plane to England to bring Jane Austen down.
I really like the story line to this book. It's fun and fast paced. This book is full of great characters. I especially like Mrs. Parrot. She belongs to a secret society called The Formidables. The Formitables were created by Jane Austen's sister Cassandra. They are in possession of some of Jane's letters that Cassandra didn't want to destroy but she also didn't want the letters to be publicized either. Mrs. Parrot entices Emma to come to England to view these letters. However Mrs. Parrot does not give them up so easily. She sends Emma on sort of a scavenger hunt that not only teaches Emma a few things about Jane Austen but also helps Emma realize a few things about herself.
Emma is a great character that I'm sure many people can relate to. She's been hurt and doesn't know how to trust anyone. While in England she runs into her former BFF, Adam. Emma and Adam had a falling out before she got married and haven't spoken in ten years. Adam is a dream. He's handsome, bookish, always carries a handkerchief and makes tea rather well. Emma and Adam try to rebuild their friendship but some obstacles stand in their way.
I really enjoyed this book. I like everything from the storyline to the characters. It is a fun adventure about self discovery, learning to trust, and finding your own happy ending. I especially like the ending. I won't give anything away but I will say I didn't expect it. I thought Beth Pattillo did a fantastic job. I wish the Jane Austen letters had been real though. It would have been great to find out more about the mysterious Jane Austen. Pattillo did a great job channeling her inner Austen.
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*My thanks to Beth Pattillo and Guidepost Books for providing me with a copy for review purposes. This in no way influenced my opinion.