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jane-austenTitle: Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Author:  Beth Pattillo

Published:  February 3, 2009

# of Pages:  288

ISBN:  9780824947712

My Rating:  4/5

Emma is a talented college English professor and Jane Austen scholar who has always done exactly as expected of her – go to the right schools, take the right career path, and marry the right guy.  But when that “right” guy not only cheats on her, but also constructs a plan that successfully gets her fired from her job, Emma starts to think that maybe doing the right thing isn’t always the best thing.  So she goes on a quest to find out more about her heroine, Jane Austen – she travels to London to visit a reclusive old woman who claims to have information about Jane’s lost letters to her sister Cassandra.  Once in London, everything Emma thought she knew about herself and her life is suddenly turned upside-down… and she starts to think that maybe what she thought she wanted doesn’t even come close to what she actually needs.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life is a light, quick, and fun read that really kept me entertained.  The plot moved along very smoothly and I was very curious about the truth about the lost letters, as well as what would ultimately happen to Emma after she discovered that truth.  I definitely liked Emma as a character and rooted for her to find the answers she was looking for and to create her own path through life.  I really felt for her when it was explained exactly how her husband had betrayed her – it was horrible what he did to her!  I found her to be a complex and interesting character – it was truly a joy to get to know her throughout the novel.

My main, and really only, complaint about this book is that I felt nothing for any of the secondary characters.  I did not feel that anybody other than Emma was complex or interesting – they all felt extremely one-dimensional to me.  I was disappointed in that aspect of the book, because on the surface I did like most of those characters, but ultimately I didn’t feel like I got to know them enough.

Secondary characters aside, overall I did enjoy Jane Austen Ruined My Life – an easy, fun read that may just surprise you with how entertaining it truly is.