Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love
What if Jane Austen wrote an advice column a la Dear Abby? That’s the premise of Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love and if you are a Janeite, you will love this book. My Jane Austen novels, which were well read and well loved in the past, have been collecting dust on my bookshelf, so it took me a while to get into this book. However, once I settled in, I highly enjoyed it.
The author, as her biography states, clearly knows her Jane Austen and cleverly, even brilliantly at times, compares the problems that Austen’s heroines faced to the problems modern women face. The book is a series of letters to Jane, from a variety of women facing a myriad of dilemmas. Jane Austen’s words from some of her well-known novels are artfully used to answer problems ranging from romantic entanglements to financial woes. Even fashion is not immune from her tongue.
It is a light, humorous read but it does contain some words of wisdom that I for one took to heart. Jane Austen fans will appreciate how Hannon stays so true to Jane Austen, her voice, and her words. Distant fans like myself will find themselves dusting off that old copy of Sense and Sensibility. Even the woman who has never read a Jane Austen novel will find herself heeding Austen’s wise words, and maybe giving Pride and Prejudice a read. In short, every woman should pick up this book. We will all learn something new about Jane Austen, her books and her characters, and perhaps find the answers to some of life’s persistent conundrums.