Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 352 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation/Mansfield Park
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound
Summary from publisher:
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.
I don’t like Mansfield Park. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the magnificence of Jane in Mansfield Park. It’s just Fanny. She’s not my favorite Austen heroine. As a matter of fact, I spent the majority of Mansfield Park thinking of ways to end her and every other character in the blasted novel. I may need a reread sometime soon because a reread worked with Northanger Abbey. But this is not a review of Mansfield Park. This is a review of My Jane Austen Summer so I should probably get on with that.
Lily was one of those characters that I loved one page and hated her the next. I did love that she loves books like I love books. They become real to her. I’m not saying that I have fantasies about the books I read but it’s not far off. I’ve had imaginary conversations with authors before. Mark Twain and I had a major blowup about Jane Austen. It wasn’t pretty. I did have some moments where I was majorly annoyed with Lily—probably because she reminds me so much of Fanny. But she was everything I love in a character—she was a bibliophile, slightly crazy and neurotic. I identified with her in ways that scared me. I could not understand why Lily was so enamored with Willis. I did not like him almost as much as I did not like Edmund. He cheated on his fiancé with Lily and I couldn’t seem to reconcile that even though I wanted to.
I really did like this book quite a bit. I did stay up for the majority of the night reading it. For once, the romance in the book was not what pulled me in but I fell in absolute love with the writing and the love of literature shown throughout the book. Lily was a true bibliophile and that’s why I loved her. I couldn’t necessarily buy into the romance when I didn’t like the hero very much. I did like the Jane Austen Festival. I want to go to one very badly. Do they exist? Where can this girl go to get in on one? I must warn that the ending was a bit iffy for those that like their endings tied neatly in a little bow. I loved how the book ended and thought it was really creative but some may be a bit disappointed.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.