Sunday, October 31, 2010

Enchanting Review: I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

Historical YA
ISBN# 978-0385739405
Hardcover—Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND is a fun historical read for any Jane Austen fan. Actually based in part on fact: Jane's cousin did send a letter letting the family know of Jane's illness and both girls were brought back home with the Austen family, the tale veers off mainly into fiction from then on.

I very much enjoyed I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND. Ms. Harrison does a terrific job transporting the reader back in time to 1791 and the Austen family home, making them feel like they are right there watching the story unfold. Cousin Jenny is a great character. Having lost her mother and spent the last few years at boarding school, she's delighted to find herself rescued alongside Jane, and at home with her Aunt Austen and family. The fact that she had to sneak out to get the letter sent however weighs heavily on her mind, as the scandal could ruin her reputation if found out, as it is especially important that the girls make good matches, since there aren't much funds for either of them. Only Jane knows the truth of how the letter was truly sent. When the young Captain that helped Jenny that night arrives in the area, Jenny is panicked, what if he tells the truth?

Ms. Harrison creates a fun and enthusiastic young Jane Austen in her novel. Jane is full of life, loves hanging around her brothers, writing down her stories and sharing them with Jenny and her family. Her relationship with her mother is a strained one, the reason behind which comes to light later in the book when she takes Jenny to meet George, her other older brother who lives in town. I especially enjoyed the scenes with Jenny, Jane and George where the girls are trying to teach his alphabet in the hopes that he'll be able to one day put words together.

Filled with memorable characters, I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND has definitely earned a spot on my keeper shelf. Visit Ms. Harrison online at

Enchanting Reviews
October 2010

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