Review: I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend (Cora Harrison)

I loved this book! It started off with a strong hook and kept me entertained the whole way with the fascinating look at a teenaged girl’s life in Jane Austen’s time. There were also some tidbits about her family life that I didn’t know, so it’s a bonus to pick up more Austen trivia. 🙂

When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?

But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?

In this delicious dance between truth and fiction, Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies, and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved Jane.

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