Rating: 5 stars
When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?
In this delicious dance between truth and fiction, Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies, and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved Jane.
Being a huge Jane Austen fan, I was really excited to read this book since I had heard about it. Cora Harrison has managed to perfectly capture the essence of a great story, and I have found a new favorite.
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend has a slower pace about it. The beginning was slow, but still just as good. Towards the middle, the story begins to pick up and I had issues putting it down. I was completely captivated by the magic of all the balls and just society itself. The writing was wonderful. I felt transported back in time!
My one complaint about this book would be how many characters there were. I love books with a lot of characters, but in this instance I found myself confusing identities of characters of some of the smaller characters. I felt some of the characters weren’t as well developed, so that was why I was confusing them. That aside, I felt the majority of characters were done very well. I loved Cousin Eliza – at first I wasn’t too crazy about her, but as the book progressed she really came into herself. Jane and Jenny were a complete laugh, and were really well done characters.
I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be a new favorite, and one I will be sure to pull out and reread from time to time.