Monday, August 15, 2011

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

The year is 1791. Jane Austen is fifteen years old. Her cousin and best friend Jenny Cooper is sixteen years old. Jane scribbles away even then. Jenny is embroiled in her own romance that may one day inspire one of Jane's novels.

What I thought: An enjoyable book. Jenny makes a compelling narrator. Her opinions and thoughts show how different life was two centuries ago. Mostly I've heard how close she was to her sister Cassandra. This book shows another side to Jane--a younger, playful, more temperamental side. Harrison's knowledge of Austen's writing (both published and unpublished) is vastly evident. The historical detail is top notch. May thanks for the author's note that clarifies what was true and what was altered.

I read I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend for the YA Historical Fiction Challenge.

(Delacorte, 2010)

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