Publisher's Note:  

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Delacorte Books

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

by Cora Harrison

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Overall Review:  

I was Jane Austen's Best Friend is a beautiful and delightful read. The book is based on Austen's younger years and author Cora Harrison obviously did her research. This heartfelt story mimics Austen's writing style, but with easier readability for its intended younger audience. The ballroom scenes are particularly magnificent and the ensuing romance between Jane's cousin Jenny and a dashing naval captain is sweet and enchanting. Readers will enjoy the added charm of drawings on multiple pages and may uncover snippets that tie into Austen's famous works and characters. Austen fans of all ages should check this book out! 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 4 religious exclamations


Violence/Gore: A secondhand account relates that the school mistress beats students. A robber shoots a guard in the arm. 


Sex/Nudity: There are multiple incidences of kissing on the hand, cheek, and lips. A character alludes to being seen at night with a man will ruin her reputation. 

Mature Subject Matter:  

Love, friendship, death, social standing, money, disability, and relationships

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Soldiers drink in one scene. Wine is served at parties and balls. 

Reviewed By Rachel
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