Jun 082012
 

¡Bienvenida a Latino América, Señorita Austen!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

One Author. Three Novels. Six Countries.

The Mission: To determine if Jane Austen resonates the same in different cultures. Is she as universally accessible as she is timeless?

The Time Assigned to Complete Mission: One year

The Candidate: Professor Amy Elizabeth Smith from the University of the Pacific. Age – 42. Single. Ardent Janeite.

In her honest, humorous, and inspiring travel memoir Amy Elizabeth Smith brings readers to six diverse and vibrant countries – Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina. In each country, Ms. Smith scouts out the local book haunts, sets up a group read of a Jane Austen novel, and submerges herself in Latin America literature. The reading groups are comprised of five or six friends, friends-of-a-friend, poets, teachers, and booksellers that agree to read and discuss a Jane Austen novel in Spanish. When these groups meet, they discuss everything from the plot and characters, to the Jane Austen’s marital status and popularity, to how Jane Austen’s novels compare with their society and culture.

A map I made of Amy’s travels.  Perhaps I’ll visit some of these places one day!

To put it simply, I LOVED everything about this book! Of course I greatly enjoyed the subject and study – how interesting it was to see other cultures’ reactions and opinions about our beloved Jane Austen – but what I really loved was all the additional bits and pieces Amy Smith included in her writing. All Roads Lead to Austen is not just a scholarly study or academic work of nonfiction, it’s an experience, an exploration, an adventure! I loved learning all about the funny, embarrassing, and surprising moments Amy encountered during her year abroad! And for those hoping for a little romance…don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed!

By recording the dialogues of literary discussions and energetic debates that took place during her travels, Amy Smith shows – rather than tells – her readers what others thought of Jane Austen. I found it fascinating to see these readers’ reaction to Jane Austen. Moreover, I liked that we got to know a little about each of the readers taking part in the group reads. Whether it was their profession, appearance, conversational style, or opinions – it felt more personable knowing these readers’ different personalities.

If by some chance, you missed your opportunity to study abroad, or have a case of wanderlust – All Roads Lead to Austen is the book for you this summer! Between discussing Jane Austen, exploring new countries, experiencing adventures and mishaps, and finding her own Mr. Darcy – Amy Elizabeth Smith delivers a deeply gratify study that illustrates the universal timelessness and limitless reach of Jane Austen! ¡Lo recomiendo muchisimo!

GIVEAWAY!!!  Thanks to Beth Pehlke and the lovely people at Sourcebooks, I have ONE BRAND NEWcopy of All Roads Lead to Austen to give away! 

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! This giveaway is open to residents in the US and Canada.  Thank you, Beth!

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This contest will close June 14th. Good luck and thank you for entering!

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  21 Responses to “All Roads Lead to Austen – Amy Elizabeth Smith + GIVEAWAY!!!”

  1.  

    I would love to visit Mexico one day!

    Great giveaway!

  2.  

    I would love to visit Costa Rica.
    Wow! Am I understanding this right, this is a book of Amy Smith’s actual travels and study? This book sounds intriguing!

    •  

      Yes, sorry if I wasn’t clear in my review, Candy! It reads like a nonfiction – travel memoir/scholarly study – but it is so much more interesting because she includes her narration, conversations she has with people, funny anecdotes. I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining a read it was!

    •  

      Awesome! I’m sure you were clear, as usual I had a limited amount of time and I was reading it quickly! 🙂 Thanks!

  3.  

    This sounds like a very interesting book!

  4.  

    I’d love to visit Argentina!

  5.  

    What a GREAT idea! I would love to visit Brazil, especially with their ecological programs. 😀

  6.  

    I’ve always wanted to visit Argentina. Great review, you’ve definetly made me want to read this one! Thanks Meredith!

  7.  

    This ounds like a wonderful book! Can’t wait to read it.

  8.  

    This book sounds wonderful! The combination of Jane Austen and travel could rival wine and chocolate for a delicious combination. I’d love to visit Costa Rica – I’m a bit of a bird watcher and there are lots of exotic birds there.

  9.  

    I have this one requested from the library. Completely forgot about that! Better make room for it! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  10.  

    i would love to visit BuenosAires!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!
    this book has been added to my WishList!!!

  11.  

    Lovely review, Meredith! This book sounds wonderful! How fun to take Austen’s novels on such an amazing trip and discuss them the whole time! Sounds like a perfect trip to me! Thanks for the giveaway!!=)

  12.  

    Never have considered this idea….very interested to find out how other cultures view this story..I would like to visit Argentina someday

  13.  

    I would actually like to visit two. I would love to visit Mexico. I have family there I have never met and then I’d like to continue on to Chile. I’ve wanted to visit there ever since I was assigned a report on the country in school.

    Thanks for the giveaway and wonderful interview. I love the idea of other culture’s opinions about Austen and how they respond to her novels…. and the traveling part isn’t so bad, either.

  14.  

    Very interesting! I’d like to visit Peru. We have friends who lived there for 3 years and I’d like to enjoy some of the same things they sent pics of. I’d like to know how other cultures view austens works also.

  15.  

    Being Portuguese I definitely would love to go to Brazil!

  16.  

    I’d love to read this book, thanks for the giveaway!!

  17.  

    Columbia! 🙂

  18.  

    Sounds interesting! Will have to add to my book list

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