Customer Reviews for

Just Jane: A Novel of Jane Austen's Life

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    interesting historical fictionalized memoir

    Twenty years old Jane Austen begins keeping a journal starting with falling in love with Tom Lefroy. Over the years, she has had good things and bad things occur, but always wrote an entry in her journal regardless. Thus when her dad decided to move to Bath, an outraged Jane grieves the loss of the family home even more than the unfortunate death of her sister's fiancé. Her mom¿s constant complaints about illness drive Jane crazy as she believes most are in her mother¿s head. Then there are the men she desires. Writing novels has been a welcome relief although she originally assumes she had no talent, but as she is into her thirties, she also basks in the success of her novels as she never expected fame to shine a light on her.----------------------- With Jane Austen in almost as much readers faces as JD Rowling is, fans of the great author will appreciate this interesting historical fictionalized memoir. Jane is a fascinating protagonist as she relates her frustrations with her mom, her seemingly unrequited attraction to men starting with Tom, and her deep religious convictions. Ms. Austen¿s actual words are used throughout with the humor that is so apparent in her six novels appearing in her letters interestingly though no quotations are used to delineate direct Austen quotes, readers will know with at least the longer passages as there is much word play involved. Fans who want to know more about Ms. Austen¿s life will appreciate this well written ¿autobiographical¿ fiction, although the journal fails to capture the essence of what made Jane write.------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    Jane Austen of course is legend to us today. Although I have heard some historical discrepancies from one or two things in this novel of her life, I really see this as a depiction that is the most true to how I see Jane's life. Nancy Moser did a wonderful job bringing the light of Jane to a realistic picture for me and I could imagine every scene of her story. At first I was reading on a depressed note, thinking of the Jane movies I have seen recently just knowing that it will end with her death. At the end of the novel I was quite pleased with the way that Nancy arranged things. I believe this is the way that things should be. Jane should be missed surely, but not pitied. She would not want that I think. But I do believe she claps for joy each time someone else on our earth discovers the words that she has left to share with us all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Just Jane is Just Perfect

    I loved this book! It's my very favorite of the year. I felt so immersed in Jane Austen's life and thoughts. I felt as though I really knew her by the time I finished this book. Author Nancy Moser used real letters from Jane Austen herself to get her facts--and the personality--right. She perfectly captured the time, the language, the attitudes and mores of the day. I so enjoyed finding out the real events that led to Jane's first publication. I was shocked that she had had so much trouble getting published. I just assumed it had been easy for her. Shouldn't it have been obvious to anyone that she was a genius? Apparently not. I was surprised that she went through years of waiting and doubting that she would ever be published. She wanted her works to be published, and I wanted it for her, too. I couldn't wait to find out how it would finally happen. This book is wonderful. I highly recommend it. My favorite book of the year.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    I love all things Jane Austen. I love all the movie versions that have come out of her books. Right now it's very 'in' to be an Austen fan especially with the two recent movies that have come out about Jane Austen. I kept forgetting at times while reading that this was a fiction novel and not really Jane Austen's memoirs! The first person narrative is done extremely well that will make the reader think they have discovered the lost diaries of the author. I felt like I was literally dropped into the time period because the rich narrative made the story come alive. I liked how Jane would get the inspirations for her characters. She and her sister Cassandra were very much like Elizabeth and Jane Bennett from P&P while you could also seem resemblances from the people she would meet. Her reasons for never getting married are portrayed here as her reaction to societies' expectations on the role of women. I loved the authenticity with the way the book was written, right down to the 'olde English'. The only fault I found with the book is that you are dropped right into the middle of the story but are not given that much background info. There are a lot of characters mentioned as well, and it is easy to get quickly confused. Other than that, I found this book a joy to read. This book is highly recommended for historical fiction fans and those Austen fanatics who get enough of that 6 hour version of Pride and Prejudice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2007

    Terrific Page-turner

    Nancy Moser has truly captured the essence of Jane Austen in this charming bio-novel. She helps us to empathize with Jane's thoughts and reactions to the events of her life. We feel her need to fulfill her God-given talent which was to write and her frustration of having to be obedient to her families' wishes. We come to understand the constraints of being a woman author living in the 18th and early 19th century and grieve for the narrow opportunities for women at this time. Many of the themes of Jane Austen's books actually occured in the life of Jane Austen. Ms. Moser helps us to understand the need for women to marry for financial support and the desperation so many women must have felt to accept any proposal and raise a family. We also cheer Jane on because she insisted on marrying for 'love', but we also grieve at her losses. We are enchanted by her loyalty to her sister, Cassandra as well as a few chosen friends. We are charmed by the thought processes which Jane must have experienced to compile her characters and we read actual exerts from Jane's books. In a time of much decorum, we relish the human side of Jane with her doubts and feelings of guilt that she cannot contribute more to the family. Jane said,'I am but a spinster who dabbles with writing when life affords her the time, inclination, and inspiration.' We know that this description doesn't do her justice, and we root for her success. We are grateful to see her growth and self-confidence as her novels get published. Ms. Moser's careful research into Jane's life has given us a glimpse of what this special author's days must have been like. This would be a perfect discussion book for book clubs as the author even provides discussion questions in the back. I highly recommend 'Just Jane' as one of the best 'reads' I have had in a long time.

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