What DOES Jane Austen Know About Love and Romance?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Despite the fact that she remained single and never married, Jane Austen understood what makes a relationship successful and strong. Her novels are full of wisdom, advice, and guides. Her characters teach us what to do, what not to do, and exemplify the many different forms and facets of love. Debra White Smith (author of many Christian Romance novels and a Modern Christian series on the novels of Jane Austen), takes one of the most famous passages in the Bible on love and marriage (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) and illustrates how it is followed in all of Jane Austen’s novels.
“Love is patient, love is kind . . .” these words from 1 Corinthians describe love, pure and perfect love. As the daughter of a clergyman, it is conceivable that Jane Austen would believe and heed the words in the Bible about love and marriage. Jane Austen must have believed this passage to be the recipe for a satisfying and successful relationship. Characters in Jane Austen’s novels learn valuable lessons about love, and we, in turn, can learn from their growth and follies.
In What Jane Austen Taught Me About Love and Romance, Debra White Smith divides the 1 Corinthians Bible passage into fourteen different chapters and each chapter focuses on a different phrase. For example, the first chapter is called “Love is Patient” and depicts how Emma and Mr. Knightley teach us about patience (in this instance, it is really Mr. Knightley who is the example of patience). Ms. Smith integrates each the chapter with the Christian faith and her own personal anecdotes and stories. Sometimes she hands out awards for characters, for example: Emma Woodhouse – “Queen of Sass,” Maria and Julia Bertram – “The Slime Sisters,” Mr. Darcy – “Foot in the Mouth Award.”
I enjoyed this book in so many ways. I have read Debra White Smith’s Austen Series, they are wonderful modern adaptions of all Jane Austen’s novels, and I also read a lot of Christian Inspirational novels. I found this book very interesting, inspirational, and learned a lot about how to make a relationship loving and lasting! I enjoyed the connections and comparisons Debra White Smith made between the Bible and Jane Austen’s novels. In addition, I commend Debra White Smith for her excellent research and accurate conclusions. I sometimes liked her personal stories, but I also found some of them to be weak analogies. (i.e. comparing Knightley’s love and patience for Emma to her sixth grade crush on a boy).
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the love and romance of Jane Austen’s novels c would like to learn more about the relationships between her heroes and heroines. If you like this book and don’t mind a Jane Austen adaption with Christian undertones, I recommend you try The Austen Series by Debra White Smith: