Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
I received a copy from Netgalley for a fair review.
Publish Date: November 7, 2017
“This was all her fault. If I hadn’t spent half my life wanting to be Elizabeth Bennet, I wouldn’t have held my own prejudices so dear. I wouldn’t have taken pride in my own clever snap judgements to like and dislike at a whim.”
Emma has broken up with Jane Austen. Despite all the happiness her novels and movie adaptations have brought into her life, she has decided that Jane essentially was a fraud – being that she had ended up an old spinster in the end and not happily married to her own love of her life. Except Emma can’t just rid herself of Jane, and her personality that that has been derived from constant interaction with the novels can’t just go away – her pride, prejudices, assumptions, and expectations all get in the way of her life and quite possibly, her happily ever after. Emma is caught between Blake, who she thought was going to propose, and his brother Lucas who is doing his best to reunite the two all the while confusing Emma when she feels a connection to him.
I blew through this book in one day, and by the end all I wanted to do was pick up my Pride and Prejudice and devour that next. I definitely need a copy of this book to shelf next to the rest of my Austen novels and inspired novels.
With inspirations from Jane Austen’s novels (and a quote, seemingly a lie Jane has told us all, to start each chapter) we are given a well-rounded novel that not only emanates the type of story Jane would give us, but also something modern and fresh. For me there wasn’t really much in wanting for this book, it delivered exactly what I expected – a story of a girl who had had enough of Jane Austen ideals, but still ends up having her own Austen style romance, full of misunderstandings and missed chances. Really, this was such a subtle combination of a lot of the best aspects of Jane Austen Novels.
I am only going to talk about two of the characters (Emma & Lucas) despite the fact that Blake and her best friend are also great characters and the perfect amount of interaction to actually help the plot without taking away from the obvious main characters.
Emma-First of all, she loves Jane Austen, so she gets 100 points there. She exudes a strong character that still has wants and needs. She’s a successful and beautiful woman, but can still be a swoony romantic. So yes, you can be strong but still be incredibly vulnerable with your heart. I loved that she could be sure of herself, but at the same time question her own heart.
Lucas-To me, he was so much like Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility) – always doing right by his promises and for his brother. But then again, he just isn’t Edward either. I loved that everything we want to hate him for putting Emma through is nothing that we can really actually hate him for. He was noble without overdoing it. Which of course does nothing but make us expect men to be so valiant in our own lives, but who cares, that’s why we read this stuff.