Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, but since I had enjoyed the author's Betsy books, I was reasonably certain I'd enjoy this one.
I didn't just enjoy this book, I absolutely loved it. It was partly due to the fact that I adore Jane Austen and reread her books at least once every year.
The parallels the storyline took with Austen's novel plots was both poignant and surprising. I'm sure I didn't describe that adequately, but there it is. There were several points at which I teared up with the poignancy of the story, and other times I was gasping in surprise and delight.
It's rather a big deal for me to like a book I cried over, because in general I hate books that make me cry. (Give me a suspense or a comedy any day over a women's fiction or literary book. Life has enough pain that I don't care to be slugged with it in the pages of a novel.) But I truly loved this book even though it also made me cry.
The ending was unexpected but I thought entirely appropriate considering what the message of the story was.
I would suggest reading Jane Austen's Persuasion before reading this book because some of the parallels with it, both mentioned and unmentioned, make it an especially powerful and romantic read.
Bottom line: A fantastic book and one of the best Christian fiction books I've read in a long time.
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