Feb 202013

Perceptive, Precise, and Pertinent  

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Every time I read an Austenesque novel like According to Jane by Marilyn Brant, Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight, or My Jane Austen Summer by Cindy Jones, I become green with envy at how each heroine was able to, in some form or another, communicate with Jane Austen! How magnificent would it be if this wise and discerning author was able to impart advice and council to her readers?!? How incredible would it be to have Jane Austen answer questions about our modern world and lend an ear to our present-day woes?

Well, until Jane Austen decides to manifest herself in my life, I will continue to find solace and seek wisdom from her novels and various other Jane Austen guidebooks. Including this newly published offering from Rebecca Smith, Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas. In her advice book, Rebecca Smith (Jane Austen’s great-great-great-great-great niece) cleverly and adeptly shows readers how our modern-day dilemmas can be solved through passages, quotes, and letters from our favorite author!

It didn’t initially occur to me that Jane Austen could give relevant advice on long distance relationships, tattoos, office dragons, and dressing our age…but indeed, she can! Even though we live in a distinctively different world – a world with technological advancements, relaxed social customs, and independence for women – the fundamentals of relationships and society haven’t changed. I thoroughly enjoyed the perceptive and creditable comparisons Ms. Smith drew between Jane Austen’s world and ours. I loved seeing the parallels between our modern-day dilemmas and those of Jane Austen and her characters, and I found the advice given to be sensible and beneficial.

My only quibble for this book is that sometimes the author’s tone felt a little jarring. With phrases such as: “new squeeze,” “bridezilla,” and “down low” it sort of felt like the author was trying a little too hard to sound hip for her younger readers. In addition, I’m guessing some of the advice is supposed to be taken tongue-in-cheek as sometimes the tone is a little blunt and insulting. Like when the author says, “Could it be that you are just a horrible and ungrateful person and he’d be better off with somebody else?” in response to a dilemma about a boyfriend buying you things you really don’t like. (page 35) For me, sentences like this just didn’t seem to set the right tone for a Jane Austen advice book, even if it is supposed to be taken ironically.

If you are like me, and wish you could communicate with Jane Austen about our modern world and the quandaries we find ourselves in, Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas might be the book for you! Enjoy with a comforting cup of tea and let Jane Austen’s wise words steer you in the right direction!


Before I received a review copy of Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, the publisher sent me a thirty-page excerpted uncorrected proof.  It came complete with a table of contents, illustrations, and excerpts from different chapters.  It was great to get a little preview of this book and it helped me decide if I wanted to review it or not.

I find that I don’t really need to keep this thirty-page excerpt anymore and rather than discard it in the recycling bin, I thought I might give it away to one lucky winner!  Maybe it will help one of you decide if you want to purchase this book for yourself!

So…if you are interested in winning a thirty-page excerpt of Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, leave a comment below!

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  • The giveaway is open worldwide!
  • This giveaway ends February 26th.
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  13 Responses to “Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas – Rebecca Smith + Mini Giveaway!”


    Patkf2007 [at] hotmail [dot] com

    Patricia Finnegan

    thank you for the giveaway opportunity


    I would love the chance to win it. Thank you very much, Meredith, for offering it as a giveaway.



    How cool is it to be able to claim Jane as a relative? @AngieKroll Thanks for the giveaway!


    Having just read Austensibly Ordinary this book sounds like it would be as close to a ghost Jane as us normal mortals could get – such a fun idea!

    nicolerjlapierre [at] gmail [dot] com


    I’d love a chance to win!

    felicialso @gmail. com



    Thank you for making it open to all. Much, much appreciated. The JA spin offs are very often restricted!!!!!



    Love to have the book! I’ve been eyeing this for so long!

    jsnato at gmail dot com




    I believe this book is quite interesting having some help from Jane Austen for a modern problems sounds goood!!!

    e-mail : Arshi@live.fr


    Thanks for the giveaway!

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