Non-Fiction Review: Jane Austen

Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin
Jane Austen: A Life 
by Claire Tomalin

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This biography of Jane Austen does a very thorough job of seizing on every letter, every mention, every tiny detail that can be gleaned about the famous author; unfortunately, that isn’t much. Jane’s sister, Cassandra, destroyed many of her letters after Jane’s death. Jane’s brothers and nephews and nieces didn’t preserve her letters as faithfully as they should have. The result is that there are few original writings left from one of the best-loved authors of all time, and little is known of her day to day life.

However, the author does a wonderful job of piecing together letters from cousins, diary entries of nieces and neighbors, along with the few portraits and tin-type photographs of her family and friends.
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Classic Review: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey 
by Jane Austen

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Catherine Morland is on vacation in Bath with family friends, where she is befriended by the scheming Isabella Thorpe. At her very first dance, Catherine falls in love with the charming Henry Tilney and is invited to visit Northanger Abbey to keep his sister company. Catherine’s wild imagination paints the Abbey as a Gothic melodrama waiting to happen, and she sees mystery and murder in every innocent corner.

Rereading this book for the third time, I enjoyed it so much more than the first two readings; probably because I’m older and more sensitive to the wisdom and humor in Austen’s writing.

When I first read Northanger, I remember being so frustrated with Catherine Morland’s character, because she can’t see through the social facade of people like Isabella Thorpe. Of course, Catherine doesn’t have the experience yet to be able to judge people’s character very well. She assumes that other people think and feel just like herself, and she gives them the benefit of the doubt.

But now I recognize that those aspects of Catherine’s character really frustrated me, because I AM like Catherine in many ways. Imaginative, sensitive, trusting, gullible, naive, and prone to flights of fancy instead of being rooted in reality. Continue reading

Book Review: Sanditon

Sanditon: A Novel
Sanditon: A Novel by Jane Austen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so pleased with this uncompleted last novel of Jane Austen’s that was finished by “another lady”. It tells the story of Charlotte Heywood who is visiting friends in a seaside town called Sanditon. Charlotte meets all the respectable society of Sanditon, and spends most of her time observing their characters and deciding if she should laugh at them, pity them, befriend them, or scorn them. She herself is very unassuming and sensible, but when the charming Mr. Sidney Parker comes on the scene, her self-possession begins to slip and Charlotte finds herself wrapped up in intrigue, deceit, and gossip of the worst kind.

I couldn’t even tell where Jane Austen’s original work left off and Marie Dobbs writing began! I’m usually very skeptical about other authors trying to recreate or imitate someone else’s work, but wow! She perfectly captures the sweet laughing mockery of Austen’s writing. Austen made fun of everybody with little biting remarks, but also forgave them their faults in the next sentence. This writing style, the wording, the dialogue, and even the descriptions are perfectly blended together throughout the book in Austen’s own way. I could have sworn she wrote the whole thing! (And I am very picky and critical about all things Austen, let me tell you.) Continue reading

If You Like This… Read That: Classics Edition

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If you liked this classic book, then you should read this other classic book! Leave a comment and tell me what classics you recommend for me to read!

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Fictional Boyfriends Tag: Classics Edition

Who is YOUR favorite fictional boyfriend/girlfriend? Tell me in the comments!
Rachel Reads (Ray Kay Books)- https://www.youtube.com/user/RayKayBooks

Books for MKs is a charity organization that donates books to missionary kids on the foreign mission field all over the world.

Donate now at http://www.gofundme.com/booksformks to help these children get reading material!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, and COMMENT!

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/thekai05
WordPress: https://booksformks.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/booksformks
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thekai05/