Monday, January 16, 2012
Jenny Cooper is Jane Austen’s orphaned cousin. After heroically coming to the rescue when Jane was desperately ill at boarding school, Jenny is invited to stay with the Austens at their home in the country. There Jenny is surrounded by Jane’s large family (six brothers and a sister), not to mention all her father’s pupils. The shy, sixteen-year-old Jenny finds the Austens lively, fun, and a little overwhelming. There is always something happening, and Jenny’s life opens up to more laughter, teasing, and friendship than she’d ever known before. She also learns a thing or two about flirting – a brand new experience for her. But of course, at this age, romance - meaning true love - is foremost in her thoughts.
Young Jane Austen is a steadfast friend and her outspokenness and confidence are the perfect complement to Jenny’s reticence, while Jenny’s common sense balances Jane’s impulsiveness. The story does a very nice job of imagining Jane’s teenage years and her early striving to be a writer.
Jenny was a lovely character to root for – far stronger than she gave herself credit for being. It was delightful watching her grow in confidence. The hero is sweet, making for a charming love story.
I haven’t studied Jane Austen’s life in any detail, but Cora Harrison has. By report, this book was extensively researched and is based on much that is true from Jane’s early life. So now I’m more interested in digging into Austen’s biography. So much for a nice relaxing read. Now I have more work to do!
January has been a good month for historical fiction. I'm moving right along in the historical fiction challenge hosted by Historical Tapestry.