Macmillan Children's Books
Published Jan 7, 2011
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
I loved reading this charming novel! It's a story (mostly in diary format) based on Jane Austen's cousin Jenny Cooper who lived with the Austen family at Steventon in the year in which Jenny met Captain Thomas Williams. Of course, the author took creative license to form both the characters of a teenage Jane Austen and her shy and pretty cousin Jenny, who was instrumental in saving Jane's life when she fell ill at boarding school.
Jane and her cousin Jenny couldn't be more different. Jane is clever, witty and a little wild, whereas Jenny is more introverted and not used to all the male attention from Jane's brothers. She has much to learn about men and their courting ways. And Jane is more than willing to give Jenny advice on love and how to win the heart of a dashing young man! But it is the very sophisticated Cousin Eliza from France who teaches both girls a thing or two.
Of course, the story wouldn't be enticing to Austen fans without the world of beautiful dresses, balls, secrets, gossip and romance. There is plenty of that. This is a character-driven book and the author truly captures the individuality of each character. Black and white illustrations are interspersed throughout the novel since Jenny loves to draw and make sketches in her diary, thus giving the reader a more intimate look into her feelings.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Young Adult Reading Challenge
Reviewed by Laura
Disclosure: Thanks to Shannon Parsons from HarperCollins for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.