Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine's Guide to Life and Love

Dear Jane Austen by Patricia Hannon is a work of fiction in which Jane Austen answers "Dear Abby" like letters from her female fans. The book opens with Jane's running commentary on her day along with conversations with people who visit her. Between these conversations, she takes the time to answer questions from fans about what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century in terms of love and life. Using examples from her famous novels, Jane explains that women should be independent. Honestly, I didn't even get past the first chapter of the book. I feel this book is meant more for people who are very familiar with Austen's novels. I've only read Pride and Prejudice many years ago. Therefore, the constant references to her stories and characters were more annoying and drawn out than inspiring and reminiscent. I had to put the book down, because it wasn't holding my attention one bit. Reading shouldn't feel like a chore. Perhaps I'll return to it one day after I've read more of Austen's novels. Read this book if you're familiar with Austen's works, if you're interested in biographical fiction, or if you are studying Austen in school. I give it a 3 out of 10.

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