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Book Review

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.…

Overall Book 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! 

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


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. 

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
1
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
2
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
2
10

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.