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Book review – A WALK WITH JANE AUSTEN

Captain's Log, Stardate 04.11.2008

I’ve been in such a Jane Austen mood that I finished this book, which was given to me a few weeks (or maybe even months?) ago. I’m glad I had it—it perfectly matched my current Austen frame of mind.

A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith
By
Lori Smith


From the back cover:

Step into a Life of Grace

At thirty-three, dealing with a difficult job and a creeping depression, Lori Smith embarked on a life-changing journey following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England.

With humor and spirit, Lori leads readers through landscapes Jane knew and loved–from Bath and Lyme, to London and the Hampshire countryside–and through emotional landscapes in which grace and hope take the place of stagnation and despair. Along the way, Lori explores the small things, both meanness and goodness in relationships, to discover what Austen herself knew: the worth of an ordinary life.

Camy here:

This is a well-written travelogue/memoir that struck me as Blue Like Jazz for single Christian women. Or even married Christian women. So many of the things she talks about made me relate to women’s struggles about being the Proverbs 31 woman, or the conflict around being like faithful, conservative Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity) and also trying to be a 21st century Christian woman.

Since it is a memoir, there are some personal things mentioned, and I have to honestly admit I didn’t feel any interest in some of them. But her romance with Jack and the mono-like virus was a strong thread through the book that held my interest and played an intriguing, significant role in her faith journey.

I got a favorite quote from this book:

“With my apologies to the stellar Christian single guys I’ve met in the last few years, it’s a truth universally acknowledged among single Christian women that single Christian guys beyond a certain age are weird.”

How true is that!

I think that readers who are Jane Austen fans will enjoy this more than those who are not. There are lots of quotes and references that won’t have much meaning for people who haven’t read the novels, although I don’t think a non-Austen person would have difficulty following any of the narrative. It just has much more depth of meaning for someone who loves Jane Austen’s works.

Someone hoping to only find out about Jane Austen should read a biography. This is an intimate travelogue that delves into some of the events in Jane’s life, relating it to real life, real faith, and the author’s own conflicts and struggles.

I enjoyed this book a lot, learned a little more about Jane Austen, and felt renewed in my own faith and identity in Christ. This is a winner for any postmodern Christian woman.

Comments

  1. I've been in Jane Austen land for awhile now as well. Just finished watching the last of her stuff on Masterpiece that I had on TiVo. Thanks for the review. I'm trolling for new things about her now.

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