Jan 152012

Jane Austen Meets “Dear Abby”

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!


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  36 Responses to “Dear Jane Austen – Patrice Hannon + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    Thank you for your review and for the awesome giveaway! This book sounds sooo good. I have it now on my wishlist!!!


    This comment has been removed by the author.


    What a neat idea! Sounds like a fun book! Thanks for the giveaway!


    Woot! Two books down! 🙂 This one sounds like a winner.


    Many thanks for this delightful giveaway.


    this wonderful story is so appealing and unique. thanks for this great giveaway.


    Indeed I *have* wondered What Would Jane Do? How fun of a book concept! 😀


    Thanks you for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Much appreciated.

    The book sounds very interesting so please enter me.

    Carol T


    Enjoyed the review! The book sounds wonderful – so cool to have a giveaway for it!! 🙂


    I’m always interested in Austen wit in the form of advice her readers. It sounds wonderful! Count me in and thanks for the giveaway.


    Hi! 🙂 I definitely like the sound of this – we have Jane and see mentions of all the books and characters, not just one, and no catches like paranormal elements or the like (although I do like some of those as well LOL). So I’m definitely interested in this one! 🙂



    Thanks for the chance to win this book. I have had it on my wishlist for quite awhile. I thought it would make a good gift for my daughter.


    I had never heard of this book and it sounds like it would be a marvelous read.

    Your blog is great and I appreciate your effort to make it so. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


    What a cute idea– sounds great! Thanks for the heads up, as I’ve never heard of this one.



    thank you for this giveaway!! a definite add to my WishList!!!

    Cynthia ~~


    Thanks for hosting this giveaway! This just goes to show that our dear Jane is just as relevent today as she was 200 years ago.


    want to add to my reading list! So many times I would loved to ask Jane! Count me in!!! Hope I win!


    Thanks, Meredith! Throwing my bonnet in the ring.


    This book sounds absolutely delightful! Thank you for the review and the giveaway! I’d love to have the chance to read it!


    I always try to tell my pupils and also friends that books by Jane are not ‘old’. That Jane was the kind of woman who would be able to write a news column in a magazine or newspaper giving us tons of tips and tricks about relationships and life in general. This book would be kind of ‘proof’ to show what a classic author can do in the 21st century. I must say that you still keep surprising me when it comes down to writing reviews and that my list of Jane Austen inspired books now is almsot a ‘Neverending story’!!!! You are an angel!!


    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the review!


    I often find myself asking myself what Jane would do, or say, or how she would act in a given situation. This book sounds lovely!


    My heart is all in flutters anticipating the advice of Miss Austen!


    Aww…this sounds great! Would love to get “personalized” advice from JA!


    Now that’s a fascinating premise for a novel.


    I loved this book when I read it and I’m surprised more people haven’t read it. I hope it’s inspiration for more readers to try it out. It’s too bad we don’t have more copies to float around. Thanks for reviewing it and sharing that info with others.


    What an interesting book! At least your review makes it sounds very promising and fascinating:) Thank you for drawing our attention to this book and for your kind giveaway.


    Thank you for the lovely review, Meredith. I’m so glad you enjoyed my book!



    This sounds like a great book!


    Thanks for the review. Sounds like a book I need to add to my wish list!


    This sounds like such a delightful read! I like that this book is in a format I have yet to read, a Dear Abby style. I think that makes it sound all the more interesting!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway, Meredith!


    Love the review adding this to my wishlist! Thanks


    Meredith, I totally admire the way you phrase your words in the book reviews especially this one. You are truly a star and I hope to emulate your writing. Here‘s mine if you like to read it.

    Since I don’t own a copy, please enter me. Thanks for hosting this giveaway btw.


    If there isn’t already a bumper sticker that says What Would Jane Do?, we need to remedy that! Because, I find myself saying that quite often. What a fabulous book, and I also think it would be perfect for our three girls who have just started college! (Just like Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating)!

    Thanks for all you do in the realm of the Austenesque, our scout for all that is wonderful in connection with our favorite beloved author!


    I would love to have this book. I often think what it would be like if Jane had a column in a newspaper…fun, fun, fun!!!!


    I’d like to read this book. What a great giveaway!

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