Jane Austen Ruined My Life

by | Mar 13, 2009 | Fiction Book Reviews | 1 comment

English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should — a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman.
Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.
Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn’t as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma’s first love makes everything more complicated.
In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people’s expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.
My two cents worth:
This is a quick, snappy, and fun read. I liked the intrigue and the romance involved, but most of the story was about self-acceptance and Jane Austen 🙂 Beth Patillo brings some wonderful history, hurt, and typical Austenian wit to produce an enjoyable book for those who don’t take Austen ‘too’ seriously. I’m a committed Austen fan and thought this was a nice commercial in Austen-based literature…but being a bit of a romantic, I was in search of a different ending. Though not my first choice of an ending, at least it is an ending I can live with. If you enjoy chic-lit and Austen, you’ll probably enjoy Beth Patillo’s enjoyable novel.

1 Comment

  1. Julianna

    Sounds great! It is always easy in our emotional minds to create a Jane Austin fantasy world to live in. We definitely need reality checks to keep us grounded in the truth.


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