Book Review: "My Jane Austen Summer" by Cindy Jones

Summary from Lily has squeezed herself into undersized relationships all her life, hoping one might grow as large as those found in the Jane Austen novels she loves. But lately her world is running out of places for her to fit. So when her bookish friend invites her to spend the summer at a Jane Austen literary festival in England, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself.

There, among the rich, promising world of Mansfield Park reenactments, Lily finds people whose longing to live in a novel equals her own. But real-life problems have a way of following you wherever you go, and Lily's accompany her to England. Unless she can change her ways, she could face the fate of so many of Miss Austen's characters, destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

My Jane Austen Summer explores how we fall in love, how we come to know ourselves better, and how it might be possible to change and be happier in the real world.

Mansfield Park is my least favorite Jane Austen book. I've never been a fan of Fanny because out of all of Austen's heroines I felt her to be the weakest. Except for the mention of pugs and James D'Arcy starring in the most recent television version, I honestly would skip over this read. Therefore for the focus of this book to be put on Mansfield Park put it at a slight disadvantage right from the start.

I don't know if I was expecting something more from the story but I just never really felt like I got into the story. To me, Lily was not a good heroine. She's actually quite like Fanny and maybe it's because of that that I didn't like her. I really hated how she allowed her roommate to keep taking advantage of her and didn't put up much of a fight when her necklace kept getting stolen. I mean if the necklace meant so much to her, why didn't she do something more drastic about getting it back? Also her imaginary Jane Austen friend kinda bothered me. She doesn't really do anything and it just makes Lily seem really weird.

I'm a big Austen fan so I felt like this book didn't really do her enough justice. The characters in the book are Austen fans but they seem to care more about the feel of Austen as opposed to the actual person. They all seem very preoccupied with their own lives and thus felt very self absorbed. The romance in this book seems like it's trying too hard to be like one out of the story. That's actually pretty much like how I felt the whole book to be. A not so good imitation of trying to recreate everything Austen into a modern day tale. Other Jane Austen fans might enjoy this book more than I did. This one just wasn't my cup of tea.

My Jane Austen Summer by Cindy Jones is published by William Morrow (2011)

This ARC was provided by the Amazon Vine program


  1. I keep seeing this one around. Looks like light summer reading fare. Not too bad but perhaps not spectacular? Kinda fun all the same.


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