Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, by Cora Harrison, is a captivating story of a young orphan girl growing up in the late 1700s. The main character, Jenny Cooper, struggles to find a suitable husband, despite her poverty and scandalous secret. Throughout the course of the book, she goes to many balls and parties, and also finds the family she never had in the wonderful Austen family. She and her cousin, Jane Austen, become fast friends and have many adventures together, and learn how to behave as proper young ladies in society. The main theme of the book is that true love really does exist, which classifies it as a romantic novel for young adults.
This book was written in the form of a diary, which gave an inside glimpse into the narrator's thoughts and emotions. While the main character was well-developed, the setting was a little weak. The book was more about how the main character felt than what was actually going on around her. It only focused on Jenny's side of the story, leaving out details about what happened to the other characters, like Jane Austen and her siblings. The vocabulary was at a lower level than was expected, which made the book seem more appropriate for younger readers. I appreciated the happy ending, but it left me wondering how the other characters ended up. However, it was a light-hearted and touching book that served its purpose to show what life was like for young women in that time period. I would recommend it to any girl who likes a feel-good romantic story.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside , WI U.S.