All Things Austen: Jane Austen Ruined My Life

7 Mar

Though not a sequel to her famous books, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is a novel based on scholarship surrounding Austen’s works.  The premise is that there is a secret society that has maintained the private letters of Jane Austen thought to have been destroyed by her sister Cassandra.  Emma, a professor of English Literature specializing in Austen, is lured to England by the promise of viewing and perhaps publishing the letters.  With her marriage and career at an end, she seizes the opportunity to put her life back to rights.  I really enjoyed Emma’s travels to the places dear to Jane Austen’s heart, as well as her journey towards healing.

Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father said she should — a respectable marriage, a teaching job, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author might say, until the day Emma finds her husband with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal, Emma packs what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. A reclusive widow claims to have the author’s correspondence, but she allows Emma to see the letters only if she promises never to tell anyone about them. Emma reluctantly agrees and sets off across Austen’s England — from Steventon to Bath to Lyme Regis — to complete a series of tasks that bring her closer and closer to the secret Jane Austen hoped to bury. And the reappearance of Emma’s old friend Adam doesn’t make her quest any easier.

As Emma uncovers the legendary author’s innermost thoughts, she begins to understand the reasons for her idol’s secrecy and Austen’s own struggles as a woman of faith. Laced with excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who discovers the true meaning of loyalty.

Other Austenesque novels by Beth Patillo:

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart.  Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister’s behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn’t looking for Mr. Anyone. She’s been dating Neil, a nice — if a bit negligent — sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice — in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy — leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author’s own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil’s unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire’s journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn’t logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All.  Ellen and Mimi Dodge have never been close, but their mother’s dying wish sends them on a walking tour of Hampshire, England, that follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen. Their mother also left them something else: a diary that belonged to Jane’s sister Cassandra. These pages shed light on the secrets that nearly tore the Austen sisters apart and inspired one of the greatest love stories of all time. They also bring Jane to life in a way that no one has ever seen before: through the eyes of her sister. As the Dodge sisters embark on their walking tour, they too are drawn together in ways they never expected. They also discover that Cassandra’s diary holds secrets, and someone doesn’t want Ellen and Mimi to discover the truth. As they stumble on their way toward love, the women learn how Jane and Cassandra Austen inspired the original Marianne and Elinor Dashwood and come to realize that despite their very different personalities, they are a vital part of each other’s happy endings.   (Not yet released).

From the authors website:

Beth PatilloI am a born and bred Texan, but I haven’t lived in Texas since my college days at Trinity University in San Antonio. Oh, San Antonio, how I love your delicious Mexican food and rich culture.

Where was I? Oh, yes. After college, I moved to Nashville where I earned a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University and met my wonderful husband. Our careers took us to Jackson, Tennessee, and then to Kansas City, Missouri, where my son was born. I started my first novel while in KC but didn’t sell a book until after we moved back to Nashville and had a second child, my darling daughter.

Now, I wear a lot of hats — mom, wife, writer, daughter, friend — just like so many other women. I’m lucky that I love being all of these things. The challenge is keeping up with all the demands!

I’ve had the opportunity to write historical romance, chick lit, mystery, and women’s fiction. All my books do have two things in common — heroines and humor! I love a strong female character and lots of laughter.

4 Responses to “All Things Austen: Jane Austen Ruined My Life”

  1. Jinky March 7, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Thanks for your comment on my review of Thr3e. That Blink you were talking about ..would that be the same as Blink of an Eye by same author?

    –I’ve yet to get into reading a Jane Austen book …tried a long time ago but couldn’t get into it …timing is all. 🙂

    • rbclibrary March 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      Yes, I think it was originally titled Blink and then retitled Blink of an Eye

  2. Carrie, Reading to Know March 12, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Following links from Semicolon….

    Definitely looking forward to reading The Dashwood Sisters Tell All. I’ve enjoyed the first two of Patillo’s Austen books and I’m certain that the third will not disappoint!

    • rbclibrary March 12, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      thanks for stopping by

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