For SBD, I’m sharing a vacation read.
Title: I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend
Author: Cora Harrison
© 2010 MacMillan
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl in possession of a journal must write all her secrets in it.
Meet Jenny Cooper: shy, pretty cousin of clever, sparky Jane Austen (who has lots of handsome brothers and a vivid imagination).
These are Jenny’s secrets:
• She has never gone to a ball.
• She hates her school.
• She longs to wear a new gown and flirt with a handsome naval officer.
• She wishes real life could be more like a novel.
A delicious dance between truth and fiction this is a thrilling story of a moonlight flit, a dashing young man, and two girls in search of a hero.
Why this book? Because I was wandering around the bookstore at Dublin Airport, searching for something to read, and the cover caught my eye. As a general rule, I’m not a particular fan of Jane Austen fan fiction, but I was in a rush and needed something new to read.
What did I think? Well, it’s YA fiction, which I often enjoy, but it felt very…juvenile.
The book is loosely based on reality, in that Jane Austen did have a cousin named Jane Cooper who lived with the Austen family at Steventon for a time. Jane becomes Jenny, for ease of reference in the book. Otherwise, it is basically a mishmash of characters and plot lines from Austen’s books. Jenny and Jane spend a lot of time doing teenaged girly things, talking about boys and family and what they want from their futures. Jane’s not the most likable person, really, and Jenny is a bit of a twit, although they are both products of their time and social position.
I don’t know, it wasn’t terrible, as JA fan fiction goes. Neither does it stand out as being particularly well-written or original.
Keep or pass on? Passing on.
Read this author again? I wouldn’t go out of my way to read her other books, assuming that she’s written any.