Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

3.8 60
by Beth Pattillo
     
 

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"Smart chick lit that's an absolute pleasure to read." --Booklist Emma packs up what few possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen, sneding Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closwer to the truth. However, the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated. In

Overview

"Smart chick lit that's an absolute pleasure to read." --Booklist Emma packs up what few possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen, sneding Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closwer to the truth. However, the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated. In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, "Jane Austen Ruined My Life" is the story of a woman betrayed who uncoers the deeper meaning of loyalty.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780824948412
Publisher:
Guideposts
Publication date:
03/07/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
209,313
File size:
3 MB

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Jane Austen Ruined My Life 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Aquamarine82 More than 1 year ago
I love anything Jane Austen so when I saw this title in the store, I had to read it. I always judge how well I'm going to like a book by how deeply engrossed I get within the first few pages. Will I stand in the bookstore reading in the isle all the way up to chapter 3? Or will I get bored and put it down after page 2. Well, this one had my attention from the beginning and kept it. You feel for the main character and everything that she's been through that led her to England. Broke, divorced, and discredited, she heads to England on a wild goose chase. And you're right along with her as she's teased with new writings by Jane Austen, and will be eager to learn the next discovery just as much as she. The main character thinks that the ideals Jane Austen wrote in her novels about love and marriage are a cause of her emotional strife, but she grows throughout the book and not only finds Jane Austen, but herself.
Lulu_Burroughs More than 1 year ago
After walking in to find her husband and her teaching assistant having a sexual fling on the dining room table, Emma's well-ordered life falls apart, along with her university career specializing in the literary works of Jane Austen. Since it was Austen's novels that made Emma believe in happy endings in the first place, she heads to England with plans to discredit the long dead author, whom she now feels was no real authority on love and relationships. However, what Emma discovers in her literary research is that Austen experienced her own disappointments in life and love due to the choices she made. The more Emma learns, the more she evaluates her own life choices, her relationships with others, and the paths she ignored or did not take. Her journey to England is one of self discovery that gives her a new respect for Austen, as well as a fledgling sense of self worth and the confidence to explore new found possibilities in love and her career.
threezcharming More than 1 year ago
A definitely different take on Jane Austen characters! I enjoyed this and look forward to reading other books by this author!
Orla More than 1 year ago
This book will have you guessing everything that you read in it and wondering if Jane Austen's works were a hint as to a secret that she kept. I enjoyed this story so much and I also liked how there was no cursing anywhere in the dialogue. The storyline flowed so easily that I could picture myself with Emma on her amazing journey around London and its surrounding cities.
kel-kel More than 1 year ago
Wonderful cast of characters. Great story full of tiny little tidbits you might not have known otherwise, along with a few made up ones .. just to keep things interesting. Honestly makes me wish there really was some secret Jane Austen society!
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
American college professor Emma Grant always does the right thing and expects the same from others. She acquired her expectations from her minister father and her favorite author Jane Austen, who both taught her to believe in the happily-ever-after. Life was turning out as planned until she unexpectedly discovers her husband's affair with her teaching assistant who in turn falsely accuses her of plagiarizing another author's work. An academic scandal ensues prompting an investigation and removal from her prestigious teaching position, denunciation by academia, and an ugly divorce leaving poor Emma at a turning point in her life. She had always believed in the possibility of finding her Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley and settling down to martial bliss. How could Jane Austen have ruined her life?

Without a job, husband, reputation or money, she packs up and off to London on the invitation of an elderly woman Mrs. Parrot who claims to have a stash of undocumented letters written by Jane Austen. If this woman's claims are true, they might be the famous missing letters that Jane Austen's sister Cassandra inherited after her death in 1817 and supposedly burned deeming them to personal for public view. If authenticated, they represented the ultimate Holy Grail of Austenalia and the ticket to Emma's academic and personal happiness. The enigmatic Mrs. Parrot is not quite ready to just hand them over to anyone, even if they have been summoned to her house. Emma must prove her worthiness to Mrs. Parrot, one of the 'Formindables', a secret society of devoted Janeites named after Jane's own moniker of herself and sister Cassandra in their later years. Mrs. Parrot sends Emma on a series of Austen related tasks/tests to prove she's up to snuff visiting Steventon, Chawton, Bath and other Austen haunts. Along the way she encounters many coincidences including a reappearance after ten years of a previous boyfriend Adam and a new man Barry who just happens to pop up unexpectedly along her journey all adding to the mystery surrounding the letters and their importance.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life is an intriguing and quick read that succeeds on so many levels by blending accurate biographical and historical information about Jane Austen's life and works (major kudos to Pattillo) with a contemporary adventure romance that at times is reminiscent of The Last Templar where the heroine is thrown into a quest to discover ancient information that will change our current perceptions. Austen enthusiast will appreciate discovering all the Jane Austen lore and references, and romance readers will identify with the modern heroine and her adventure. Anglophiles will enjoy the added benefit of Ms. Pattillo's past residence and many trips to England as she describes familiar haunts in London and Jane Austen travel destinations with aplomb. My one quibble is that Emma's romantic decision could have ended differently. Obliviously, I am not as evolved as the heroine yet, and expect my Jane Austen happily-ever-after!

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Naj More than 1 year ago
Emma Grant believes that Jane Austen ruined her life. She believes that the brilliant author gave women all over the world the hope that happy endings and true love exist when in fact, they don’t. And Emma spent almost her entire life foolishly believing that a Mr.Darcy, from Pride and Prejudice or a Captain Wentworth, from Persuasion was waiting for her out in the world and all she needs to do is find him.  She thought she found herself, a Mr. Knightley (from Austen’s novel, Sense & Sensibility) and 10 years into the marriage and she finds her “Mr. Knightley” with another woman. And with that woman, her marriage was over and so was her professional life.  Financially unstable, Emma Grant flies to England in pursuit to find evidence that Jane Austen is a fraud, so she can write her way up the ladders once again. She speaks to a senior member of a secret Jane Austen group (who keeps Jane Austen’s letters a secret) called The Formidables and is sent all around places like, Lyme, Bath and other places Jane Austen used to love and hate for tasks to prove she’s not one of those people who want to sabotage Jane Austen’s work and in exchange, this senior member will show her original copies of Jane Austen’s letters.  In the fray of these tasks, Emma Grant struggles with love and herself. And instead of grasping her second chance at a happy ending, she chooses to focus on herself, because in fact, Jane Austen didn’t ruin her life. Emma did that all on her own.  Jane Austen Ruined My Life was a heartfelt book that I enjoyed, it was dusted with facts about Jane Austen, fanatics like myself would love to read about. This was an absolute wonderful read with slight romance and a woman trying to find herself. 
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As a Jane Austen fan myself, I always wondered how she could write such wonderful endings to her stories when she didn't have one herself. Even though this book is fiction and she is still shrouded in mystery, it made me feel that maybe she was happy, even if it's not the conventional happy we all seem to look for. This book is perfect for any Austen fan that ASSUMES they will have one of her "happy endings."
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Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
ane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo caught my attention mainly because of the title. I also love the cover to this book. I had to find out how a beloved author who has been dead for some time could ruin anyone's life. Emma Grant believed in happy endings once upon a time. However recent circumstances have forced her to rethink her beliefs. Her marriage has fallen apart and she was recently fired from her job. The only thing that keeps her going is revenge. Revenge against Jane Austen. Emma seeks to expose Jane for the fraud she is. When Emma gets wind of the possible existence of letters written by Jane Austen and kept secret from the rest of the world she knows this is her ticket to getting her life back on track. Emma boards a plane to England to bring Jane Austen down. I really like the story line to this book. It's fun and fast paced. This book is full of great characters. I especially like Mrs. Parrot. She belongs to a secret society called The Formidables. The Formitables were created by Jane Austen's sister Cassandra. They are in possession of some of Jane's letters that Cassandra didn't want to destroy but she also didn't want the letters to be publicized either. Mrs. Parrot entices Emma to come to England to view these letters. However Mrs. Parrot does not give them up so easily. She sends Emma on sort of a scavenger hunt that not only teaches Emma a few things about Jane Austen but also helps Emma realize a few things about herself. Emma is a great character that I'm sure many people can relate to. She's been hurt and doesn't know how to trust anyone. While in England she runs into her former BFF, Adam. Emma and Adam had a falling out before she got married and haven't spoken in ten years. Adam is a dream. He's handsome, bookish, always carries a handkerchief and makes tea rather well. Emma and Adam try to rebuild their friendship but some obstacles stand in their way. I really enjoyed this book. I like everything from the storyline to the characters. It is a fun adventure about self discovery, learning to trust, and finding your own happy ending. I especially like the ending. I won't give anything away but I will say I didn't expect it. I thought Beth Pattillo did a fantastic job. I wish the Jane Austen letters had been real though. It would have been great to find out more about the mysterious Jane Austen. Pattillo did a great job channeling her inner Austen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago