Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
In the course of your daily life, have you ever stopped and wondered “What Would Jane Do?” When dealing with difficult decisions or in need of some advice, do you ever find yourself wishing you could ask Jane Austen? We all know Jane Austen is intelligent, moral, and observant, and we know that she often dispensed wise counsel and advice to her brothers and nieces, but is she able to help us modern-day heroines who live in the twenty-first century?
Of course she is! Jane Austen is timeless and in this instructive guide/epistolary novel modern-day readers can see how her advice and sensible counsel is always relevant to heroines no matter what era they come from!
Written in a“Dear Abby” format, Patrice Hannon creates a novel where Jane Austen (writing from her home in Chawton Cottage in 1816) can some how exchange correspondence with readers in the twenty-first century. There are ten chapters in this novel, each with its own theme (i.e. family, friends, heroes, sex, marriage, money). In each chapter there are between one and five different exchanges of correspondence.
I thought this book was just terrific! The heroine’s have problems such as: fair weather friends, dysfunctional families, being attracted to bad boys, feeling their looks were too plain, and of course wondering if they’ve found the right mate. Issues with which many readers can relate to and understand. I loved Jane Austen’s wise advice, it wasn’t antiquated or irrelevant. Patrice Hannon did a remarkable job of blending Jane Austen’s acerbic wit with instructive counsel. Making Jane Austen’s responses not only helpful but entertaining as well.
My favorite aspect of this novel was Patrice Hannon’s meticulous and perceptive analysis of Jane Austen’s characters. When responding to her “would-be heroines” Jane often referred to her own novels and cited examples of her own characters. Comparing their situations and dilemmas to those of Anne Elliot, Elinor Dashwood, and Fanny Price; and advising them to not follow the ways of Maria Bertram, Lydia Bennet, and Isabella Thorpe. Seeing the numerous examples to be garnered from Jane Austen’s novels, the reader cannot help but see how they really are the most perfect and sagacious guide for conduct and character!
Want to know how to be a happy heroine? Just follow the acknowledged truths that are peppered throughout this tome. Here are some of my favorites:
“A heroine has pride despite her imperfections.”
“A heroine founds expectations on facts and common sense, not fantasy and wishful thinking.”
“A heroine’s beauty is more a matter of her character and manner than her physical features.”
“A heroine does not judge the motives of others by the effects of their actions upon herself.”
Written with ingenuity and humor this heroine’s guide is sure to entertain and enlighten many readers, whether they are in need of some wise counsel or looking for a perceptive study of Jane Austen’s characters! I highly recommend!
I’m so grateful and appreciative of everyone who reads, comments, and contributes to this blog! Thank you so much for all your support and for making my running of this blog such an IMMENSE pleasure!!
To show my appreciation I’d like to give away a BRAND NEW copy of Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love by Patrice Hannon to ONE lucky reader!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this review. (To save your inbox from unwanted spam, please don’t leave your email address.) Just check back to see if you win! Because I’m so grateful of my international readers, this giveaway is open worldwide!
This contest ends January 22nd! Thank you for entering and best of luck!