Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Did I mention I was going to do my next update on The Nutcracker? If so, ignore that. I did, indeed, read it from cover to cover straight through Christmas and the days following just like the book seems to do in it's stretch of time but I don't feel like updating about it. See, the reason is that I fell head over heels in love with a book I bought with my Christmas present from my Nanny (a $25 gift card for Borders).

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was a splurge buy as was it's companion Cold Mountain. See, I am very broke right now and have the fact that my seasonal employment is about to die in a couple of weeks. So in other words, I am screwed. With my money dwindling and the knowledge that bills will not stop coming I knew I could only spend that $25 on the card and nothing over that amount. All of the books I have dearly wanted, however, are about $20+ and I truly wanted to make the best out of this card and purchase two books- not one.

So I strolled around my store for a good half hour staring up at bookshelves contemplating what there was to choose from and spotted this book way up on the top shelf in the Fiction section. I had never heard of this book but the title seemed interesting and I, myself, have a great interest in Jane Austen and her books. In many ways, Jane Austen is a hero to my mothers side of her family. My cousins and I adore her work.

I plucked the book off the shelf and read the back. It was a modern day novel set in the time of Austen. Or rather, a modern day girl stuck in that time. She was miserable from a failing engagement and then found herself in that time, what is a girl to do. There was a trigger in my mind though- this girl is upset, miserable, her life is seemingly in shambles and she has to find a way to make it work. I felt I could relate with my failing job constantly on my mind. But this book seemed too chipper with it's bright cover and relatively perky description to be a book of negative tones so I decide to buy it. If this girl can find her way to happiness through a broken engagement and her displacement in time I surely could find my own happiness through the idea of unemployment.

I bought the book, brought it home, looked for jobs online, found none, felt bad for myself; then decided to curl up in my lovely reading chair, sip peppermint tea, snack on German chocolates, and open this book.

That was Saturday night and today is Tuesday. I had work yesterday in which I could not read and I've purposely been trying to drag this book along because I loved it that much I didn't want it to end.

There were many moments where I thought, "This woman had to have read my mind. I feel that exact same way!" but it still was generally sticking to the form Austen loves- relationships with men and how they can so easily change. The main character was humorous. Quick spoken, sarcastic, and blunt- all qualities that were unheard-of for a lady in that period of time but are so common now.

Instead of the main character going along with the constraints of women the main character was attempting to rebel and when she did not, she would always consider how such constraints were wrong. In many ways the book shed light on Austen's world which so many women consider glamorous and made it more real. The unglamorous parts, the servants who are more like slaves, the idea that you're practically an old maid if you haven't married by thirty, the incapability to dress yourself.

And the one fact that I really enjoyed, that for the main part, men haven't changed.

What I enjoyed most about the book is that the main character is an over-thinker like myself. Every situation, every conversation, is mulled over in her mind to the point of obsession. I do the same exact thing and in many ways the main character learns that she has to let go of all these thoughts. She has to let life be life and stop trying to have such an iron grip on it all.

It seems, very much, to be a good life lesson and one I certainly needed at this moment. I feel this book is a perfect solution to anyone suffering a break up, bad day at work, loss of work, or any other negative struggles that one might come across.

I'm placing it on my 'favorite books' bookshelf immediately.
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Next book up:
Unknown
I need to work on that mans manuscript again!

4 comments:

  1. Erica, I'm delighted that my book gave you a little respite from your worries. May your own story unfold in the new year with much happiness, prosperity, and exciting adventures!

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  2. Thank you so much for leaving a comment! When I wrote this entry I had no idea (and never have even considered the possibility) that the author of one of the books I've read would come across my little blog. Thank you so much for having written this novel. I mean every word- I truly enjoyed it. :-D

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  3. Erica, how awesome that you had the author comment on your blog!

    I have had this book on my "to read" list, and I am delighted that you loved it! Did I ever tell you, you are my "go-to" person for reviews of books? True story.

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  4. Oh really? Thank you so much Lauren! I'm glad to help in any way possible! And go read this book right now! It is as awesome as it seems. :D

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