Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Walk with Jane Austen Book Review



Rating: 4 out of 5
 
Genre:
Nonfiction
 
Since I am a Jane Austen fan, a friend loaned me her copy of A Walk with Jane Austen, which she carried while touring the U.K. After reading the back of the book synopsis, I was intrigued but didn't really know what to expect between the pages. I rarely read nonfiction but since Jane Austen was the main topic, I was drawn to it.
 
A Walk with Jane Austen not only follows the places Jane lived and visited, but also explores the characters and locations where her stories take place. During this journey Lori Smith tells her own personal tale of physical and emotional challenges that she experiences and her faith in God.

I found her honesty at revealing her own personal struggles to be comforting to those of us with similar conflicts. Many times throughout this book I could feel her pain and identified with the inner feelings she revealed. She articulately formed some of my own thoughts--thoughts I have never been able to put into words. One in particular stood out. I underlined the part that I feel applies to me.
 
When Jane wrote 'Emma,' she told her family that she was creating "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." I think she was wrong. Fanny Price in 'Mansfield Park' is the one I have a hard time loving, with all her timidity and fear. She always seems to feel that she really shouldn't be in the room, that she is unworthy of notice, that she is not worth talking to. Perhaps I don't like Fanny because in some ways I share her weaknesses. I have more humor and strength, yet I manage so often to be queen of the socially awkward moment. 
 
Lori Smith has many other thought provoking moments to share in this book. This travelogue of sorts is not about finding a husband--as another reviewer stated--it is about relationships, faith, and emotional and physical healing. Her descriptions about people and places are enchanting and enlightening. There is plenty of humor--from Jane's life--as well as in Lori's travel throughout England. She gives insight into Jane's life that had never occurred to me.
 
I found A Walk with Jane Austen to be a delightful and inspiring read. I highly recommend it. To learn more about his book, click here. To learn more about the author, visit her website here.

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