Lisa Frase's Reviews > I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
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Jan 01, 11

bookshelves: young-adult, middle-grade
Read in December, 2010

Summary: Through a series of journal entries, Jenny Cooper describes her stay with cousin Jane Austen in the 1790's. The story takes the reader through difficulties, triumphs, secrets, gossip, and romance.

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison was a delightful surprise. This story is set prior to the Regency at the end of the Georgian period when Jane Austen was a teenager. The story is written from the point of view of Jenny Cooper, Austen's friend and cousin, and is told through Jenny's journal. Harrison effectively tells Jenny's personal tale of love and romance inside of Jane Austen's world. As an Austen fan, I got to go inside Austen's life as a youth full of hopes and dreams, while seeing her world through Jenny's eyes, a truly identifiable character for today's reader.

In particular I was impressed with how Harrison introduces today's teen to the Georgian / Regency world. She does it in such a way that the reader doesn't feel as if they are being lectured on the time period. She slips in the period's culture and lifestyle in comfortable manner. This is a splendid introduction for teens into Jane Austen's life and the time period in which she lived. I would also recommend it to Austen readers of all ages.
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