I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend: A Secret Diary [NOOK Book]

Overview

When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
 
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been ...
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I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend: A Secret Diary

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Overview

When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
 
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?
 
In this delicious dance between truth and fiction, Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies, and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved Jane.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Based on people and events from Austen's adolescence, this book does a better job than most to evoke the feel of the writer's novels. The story begins with Jane and her cousin Jenny at a strict boarding school. Jane falls ill with a fever, but the headmistress refuses to notify her parents, so Jenny slips out late at night to post a letter to Jane's mother. On the streets of Southampton she is nearly accosted by some unsavory characters but finds a protector in gallant naval captain Thomas Williams. Her mission is successful, the girls are removed from the school, but Jenny's secret fear is that Captain Williams will mention seeing her on the streets late at night, thereby ruining her reputation. She assumes that she will never see her rescuer again, but while visiting Jane's family, she and Captain Williams come face to face once again. Harrison takes some liberties with characterization and the ages of characters and downplays Jane's closeness with her sister Cassandra in order to highlight her friendship with Jenny, but has obviously done her research in Austen lore. This novel does a good job of maintaining the feeling of the period, and Hellard's pen-and-ink sketches are the perfect accompaniment to the book's diary format. The story is lighter fare than Austen's novels, but will certainly be enjoyed by younger teens familiar with them as well as readers who enjoy historical romance.—Misti Tidman, formerly at Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375897535
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 432,380
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Cora Harrison fell in love with Jane Austen when she first read Pride and Prejudice at the age of twelve. She has published many novels for children and adults. She and her husband live on a small farm in the west of Ireland with a very large and rather lunatic German shepherd dog called Oscar and a very small white cat called Polly.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Y

    Amazing couldnt stop reading it

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Loved it

    On of the best books ever!! Really light though

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Jane Austen was a teenage girl

    While reading this book, I felt like a teenager again along with Jane and Jenny. I had the most fun when I read the journal entries that described the balls that Jane and Jenny attended. I swear, I felt as if I was there. I could hear the music and the different conversations going on amongst the groups. I really liked the drawings that were a part of some of the entries because I felt that it added a personal touch from Jenny. I recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy a fun read or escape from this world of turmoil, if for only a moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    GREAT BOOK :)

    A truly amazing book! it was awesome i could read it over and over!

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for Teens Read Too

    Away at boarding school together, cousins Jenny Cooper and Jane Austen get into mischief. When Jane falls ill, Jenny knows she must send a letter to her aunt. The school mistress refuses her request, so in the dead of night she escapes to alert her aunt to the severity of Jane's illness. It's improper for a lady to be wandering the streets alone. During her escape, Jenny meets Captain Thomas Williams. He's the perfect gentlemen, escorting her to the post and back to the school. He promises to keep her dreadful secret. Soon, Jane's mother arrives and whisks both girls back to Stevenson. Jenny and Jane continue their education at the Austen home. While there, the girls often speak of love. Jane's sister, Cassandra, loves one of her father's students. Jane herself isn't in love, but she flirts with several boys at the local ball. Jenny believes herself in love Jane's brother, Henry, as he often flirts with her. When she spies Captain Thomas Williams again, she's both nervous for her reputation and very happy to see him. Will she find true love? Jenny's adventures are chronicled in her diary. At the back of the book, the author adds in an Author's Note detailing the changes made for this story. I adore Jane Austen and couldn't wait to read I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND. Jenny chronicles their daily routine, where we get an in-depth look into the Austen's way of life. She also peppers her diary with charming illustrations. I loved reading about Jane's writing, familiar characters that would make their way into said writing, and about Jenny's romance.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME

    I really love this book. I love Jane Austen, and romance novels, and 18th century England. All of my things in one book (that is actually GOOD) is very rare! It has pictures and everything! I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes the things I like. Another series you should read if you liked this one is A Great and Terrible Beauty.

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