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Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Walk with Jane Austen...Review

About the book:
At thirty-three, dealing with a difficult job and a creeping depression, Lori Smith embarked on a life-changing journey following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England.

With humor and spirit, Lori leads readers through landscapes Jane knew and loved–from Bath and Lyme, to London and the Hampshire countryside–and through emotional landscapes in which grace and hope take the place of stagnation and despair. Along the way, Lori explores the small things, both meanness and goodness in relationships, to discover what Austen herself knew: the worth of an ordinary life.

I can't really say what I expected from this book, but it was terrifically disappointing. The premise is good: traveling through England and visiting all places Austen-related. When Lori Smith talks about Jane or her life, the book is interesting. What was most disappointing to me was that it was more a story of Lori Smith's search for a husband.

I really wanted to like her. I wanted to care. Mostly, I was annoyed at her whiny, martyr-like tone. The "poor-me, I'm-not-married-and-I-really-like-this-guy-I-met-in-Oxford, but-will he-like-me-when-he-sees-me-again" got very old, very fast.

I think that if I were still 29 and unmarried I would have enjoyed this book more. I could have related to the desires of marriage. I do know, however, that I never had the whole "feel sorry for myself" attitude, even though I was single. I think that's what turned me off of this book. It was less about Jane Austen and more about Lori Smith and I just didn't feel much empathy for Lori.

I had to force myself to finish it. The Austen passages are interesting. Just read those and skip over the rest.

Thanks to my local bookstore which had a copy for me to purchase.  You can get your own copy here.

Read 6/08

* *
2/5 Stars

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