A delightful novel about a contemporary woman's foray into the past during one magical summer spent re-enacting Jane Austen's Mansfield Park
Lily is a dreamer. In fact, her dreams of Jane Austen have gotten a little out of control. Not only has she just been let go of her job for reading Northanger Abbey when she should be doing work, she's taken to having an imaginary friend give her advice - Jane herself. This is all because Lily's been having some tough times. Her boyfriend has just abandoned her for another woman, for one thing.
So when she gets the amazing opportunity to travel to London to re-enact Austen's Mansfield Park she leaps at the chance. But though it seems like Lily will be escaping her troubles, the truth is shell begin facing - and dealing with - them... with a little help from Jane, of course!
"While Jones does a credible job of creating a heroine in transition, Lily's process of self-realization isn't nearly as involving as the subplots, which is quite unfortunate, considering how much time is devoted to sussing out her issues." - Publishers Weekly
"A disappointing attempt at bringing a clever plot to life." - Library Journal
"An unfocused debut which dances uneasily around its central conflict." - Kirkus Reviews
"When one has read the six great Austen novels, and been through the juvenilia and the letters, and then reread and then reread the six again, one's only recourse is the company of others equally bereft. Cindy Jones's My Jane Austen Summer fills the gap with a nourishing Austen-soaked setting, a wonderfully surprising plot, and Lily, a delightfully peculiar heroine. By being so socially awkward, Lily won my heart. By loving Fanny Price best of all Austen heroines, she also wins my awe and admiration." - Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"A beautifully written novel full of surprises, with an unexpected heroine you'll not soon forget. Cindy Jones's deeply honest tale of a woman in search of herself carries you away on a literary adventure of the mind and heart, proving her maxim: books are indeed good for you." - Syrie James, author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
"A delightful story that takes us for a romp through the English countryside and into the wonderful world of Jane Austen. You can't help but root for Lily Berry, a refreshingly real heroine as she searches for herself in a novel and finds something quite unexpected." - Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author of Secret Daughter
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Rated of 5
Gina W. (Thomasville, AL)
My Jane Austen Summer was not a book that I would recommend to someone. The main character lived too much in Jane Austen's "world". Dialogue was too imaginary. Author's main character compared real people situations to situation or people in Jane's world. Not enjoyable to me. The title attracted me, because I am a Jane Austen fan. I was disappointed.
Rated of 5
Barbara R. (Lander, WY)
A Good Idea
I really like the idea behind My Jane Austen Summer. I tried to overcome my initial negative reaction to a main character who stalks her ex-boyfriend. I could never connect with Lily, who has the emotional maturity and judgment of a thirteen year old. The other characters were only superficially developed. The book was a disappointment.
Rated of 5
Kimberli M. (Jessup, MD)
A Good Read
I really enjoyed this book. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. It was interesting how Jones interwove details of Mansfield Park into a modern story. The characters are well thought out and entertaining. I would recommend this book to others.
Rated of 5
Skye (St Louis, MO)
I just recently started reading Jane Austen and Jane Austen-related books and was excited to get this one. The main plot line seemed interesting, but I found there were too many departures to side/background stories that were not value-added to convince me to really like the book. Would I recommend it? Probably would, but only as a light, quick read for easy entertainment.
Rated of 5
Selene M. (West Chicago, IL)
No Mansfield Park!
If you are looking for something reminiscent of Mansfield Park. This isn't it. Although the book was fairly fast reading, I was not engaged by any of the characters especially Lily Berry, the protagonist. Equally parts whiny and self-pitying, her gradual transformation into a somewhat interesting individual is not enough for me to recommend this book.
Rated of 5
Rita H. (Centennial, CO)
My Jane Austen Summer
One feels a bit sorry for Lily who never seems to get it right in the romance department. Her love affair with Jane Austen is also slightly askew. But, she has great hopes for her summer in England with a cast re-living Mansfield Park. This book is a relaxing read and perfect for the beach or a snow day. I would recommend it to the reader who wants an escape book or a sweet story.
Cindy Jones was born in Ohio and grew up in small mid-western towns, reading for escape. She dreamed of living in a novel and wrote her first book in fifth grade. She is the winner of the Writer's League of Texas Manuscript Contest. Cindy has a BA from Mary Washington College and an MBA from the University of Houston. She lives with her family in Dallas where she has discovered that, through writing, it is entirely possible to live in a novel for a good part of each day.
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