Melissa Rochelle's Reviews > Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
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May 08, 2009

it was ok
Read in May, 2009

Before a proper review begins...I must rant about something that really bothered me about this book. It's a tiny flaw, but it really gets to me.

If one says "I love Jane Austen, I will write a book about her life and novels..." then one should ensure that every tiny detail is correct. At one point in the novel, the main character (Emma) is talking to Adam about a home in a park and they say it possibly inspired the great homes in Austen's novels. Emma then says that the family in Mansfield Park did not appreciate the beauty of homes because they were too self-involved. That's all fine...but she calls the family the Rushworths. "But I can't imagine a family like the Rushworths living in someplace this elegant." Really?! You love Jane Austen and her novels, but you say that the main family in Mansfield Park is called Rushworth? Seriously?! You write a book about an academic who has dedicated her life to studying Austen's works and you have her say that the family in Mansfield Park is called Rushworth?! AND NO ONE EVER CAUGHT THIS TO CORRECT IT?! What?! The family that LIVES at Mansfield Park is the BERTRAMS! Rushworth is the doofus that marries Maria Bertram!

Ok...beyond that:

The book is like a lightweight Da Vinci Code for Austen fans. I also find it very difficult to understand how this woman can keep blaming Jane Austen for her sad love life when Austen wrote everyone of her leading male characters with flaws. Darcy his pride (and his prejudice against those with lesser means), Wentworth his inability to forgive Anne, and Knightley his constant need to correct Emma and treat her like a child. Yes...they overcome these flaws, but they exist! And...by the end, I was just over the main characters blindness to what she has right in front of her. Ugh.

Cute story...but it could definitely use some work.
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06/13/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca So, is this book worth reading? You gave it a two stars which in my opinion means "don't bother". Just wondering whether I should put it on my "to read" shelf or not.


Katie That point about the Rushworths/Bertrams bothered me too. Add such poignant lines as, "I thought I'd met my Mr Knightly, only he turned out to be my Mr Nightmare." I agree with you that the story was cute, but would have benefited from closer editing and also greater character development.


Misty Wagner I completely agree with the lightweight divinci code analogy. though the book was not horrible, I found it highly ironic that it was about a scholar who ached to be a novelist and yet the book itself is fairly poorly written...


Educating Drew Mansfield Park is one of the last Austen books that I haven't read yet. Wow. I cannot believe no one caught that error. That's HUGE.


Joanne Don't forget, the heroines also have their flaws. Prejudice was actually Elizabeth's flaw, judging people after just one meeting or interpretation, before getting the whole story.


Educating Drew Joanne, I'm intrigued...is there a story to the mistake?


Melissa Rochelle Joanne wrote: "Don't forget, the heroines also have their flaws. Prejudice was actually Elizabeth's flaw, judging people after just one meeting or interpretation, before getting the whole story."

Yes, that's true. But you can't deny that Mr. Darcy also had his own prejudices. Both pride & prejudice are flaws of both Darcy and Elizabeth. However, that doesn't really even get to my main problem with this book (which also the only thing I remember about it now): You're a Jane Austen "scholar" and you get the house/family wrong? I'm hoping that's been fixed in later editions...if there have been later editions.


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Not to mention in each of her books there were other men. Ones to be wary of that women with judgment went with. Wickham is only one example. Each book of hers I have read had flawed men.


Julia Mackenzie That drove me crazy too!!!!!!!!


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