My dear friend Cari recently sent me a book she thought I would like. (and she must know me pretty well - because I loved it!)
The book chronicles the life of Jane Austen, beginning when she is a young woman of twenty looking forward to an upcoming engagement. It is told from her point of view - so the reader is privy to all her deepest thoughs and wishes. At times the 'random thoughts' point of view got just a little grating - but really it was hardly noticeable, as the story moved along fairly quick. All of her family members and friends were very well portrayed and fleshed out. The author skillfully guides the reader along the various paths of her everyday life, Jane's fictional written characters, her friends and family, and her dissapointed love interests. It seemed very well researched and very minute on points of detail that I found very interesting. It even included excerpts from some of Jane's actual letters. There was also a nice section of historical notes, detailing what was fact and what was fiction in the back of the book, which I appreciated very much. Reading this book really helped me to see how much Jane Austen really drew on her own life experiences and knowlege of the people around her and translated these into her writing and characters. Now I want to read some of her books again, armed with my new knowledge and vision of the author!
Highly recommend for any Jane Austen fan!
Also go check out the slideshow tour of Jane Austen's home currently on the Masterpeice website.
Be sure to enter the Jane Austen DVD giveaway on the main page as well!