I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND by Cora Harrison

I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND

A Secret Diary
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

From a promising beginning—Jane Austen’s best friend Jenny sneaks out of their austere boarding school at midnight to post a letter to the budding author’s mother warning of Jane’s terrible fever--this effort winds down to pages of syrupy-sweet, diary-format narrative. After being rescued by Jane’s parents, Jenny and Jane, 16 and 15, move to the Austen home, site of a lively boys’ school. Jenny dreams of the dashing sea captain who befriended her on her night-time foray, attends balls and helps Jane teach a form of sign language to her disabled brother, who is being cared for in the village. Jenny tells all in her “secret diary”—although why it is secret is never clear. When, predictably, the captain shows up at a ball, she wonders if he shares her amorous infatuation and if love can overcome minor obstacles set in their way. Although clearly well researched and embellished with ample historical detail, this vanilla-flavored tale lacks tension. Knowledgeable readers will long for Austen’s own writing instead. (Historical romance. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73940-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010




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