Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book 25 - I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

My twenty-fifth book is I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison. I just found this book at Barnes and Noble (I had never heard of the author...I just thought the title sounded cool) and got it. I've had it for a while, but just haven't gotten around to reading it. I finally read it this week and I'm glad I did. The book is about Jane Austen's cousin, Jenny Cooper (who's real name was Jane Cooper...but you can't have two Janes in a book about Jane Austen). Jenny risks her life and her reputation to send a letter to her aunt about Jane's health (she really did that in real life. She is considered to have saved Jane's life...thank goodness for that). When her Aunt Austen comes to get Jane, she decides to take Jenny home with her too, as Jenny is an orphan and Mrs Austen doesn't want Jenny in the horrible boarding school either. So, Jenny goes from her horrible life at the boarding school (and equally horrible life with her brother and sister-in-law before that) to the exciting and sometimes glamorous life at the Austen household. They are not rich, but they still get invited to balls, which Jenny gets to experience for the first time (in fact, the author based Jenny's first ball on Catherine's trip to the Assembly Rooms in Bath in Northanger Abbey). Overall, a good read, in addition to giving the reader a taste of what it might have been like to be a friend of Jane Austen's.

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