Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Jane Austen Ruined My Life
Beth Pattillo
Reviewed by Jane Roberts
Monarch
Thu, 01/09/2011
9780857210104
£8.99

This is the tale of Emma Grant, an Austen scholar at university in America. Life is pretty perfect for Emma: she’s married with a good job and a nice home and everything is moving in the right direction for her ‘happily ever after’. That is, until she walks in on her husband with her teaching assistant. Her belief in Austen’s ‘happily ever after’ philosophy is shattered and she decides to set out to England to ruin the author’s good name and stop Austen fans blindly believing in a perfect romance.
Through her studies of Austen, Emma has been in correspondence with Mrs Parrott, a lady who claims to have previously unseen letters from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra. Emma is desperate to see them as she thinks they will discredit the author’s good name, but first she must get past the mysterious ‘formidables’, the keepers of the secrets.
We follow Emma to London, Bath and Hampshire and witness England being described with an American narrative. This isn’t just for fans of Jane Austen – although the book titles are brought up frequently, you do not need knowledge of the plotlines to be able to follow the actions of Emma. It’s a most enjoyable read – a perfect piece of escapism with unexpected twists.
 

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