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Secrets in the Snow

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  288 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
What if you had to choose between your family and true love?

Jane Austen’s family is eager to secure her future by marrying her off. But Jane is much more interested in writing her novels and finds every suitor lacking in one way or another. That is, until the mysterious Mr. Lefroy arrives on the scene.

Much like the famous character Mr. Darcy, from one of the real-life Jane
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Chronicle Books
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Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Please Note: I received an ARC Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the opinions of my review in any way.

I wanted to love this book. I hate writing negative reviews. Since I adore Jane Austin (and most anything having to do with her), reading this "novel of intrigue and romance" was painful. I have argued with myself over whether or not to even write any review at all. But I feel part of my role as a reviewer is to help people steer clear of wor
I was taken with the fun of a mystery starring none other than Jane Austen as a nineteen year old sleuth. The author took some liberties, but in essentials allowed the reader to enter the world of a younger Jane Austen who is on the cusp of bigger things including writing her brilliant works.

Secrets in the Snow is set in the midst of Jane's daily life. There are family visits and local engagements. Jane already is touched by her family's situation and how that affects her. She is under some pres
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

If you are like me, when I first stumbled upon this, and you expect a novel form of the movie, Becoming Jane, I am telling you now: THIS IS NOT THAT!

So. Good take aways... let's see. I want a Tom Lefroy:) The book starts off oh-so promising, and Jane is a pretty sufficient main character, all tho, everything kinda just goes down hill around the 3/4 marker (characters, plot, development etc.)

The ending, as heart-wrenching as it is, is so incredibly abrupt! ....then again, the whole last
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
You've given me the seed of a story. Who knows what it will grow into?"

What a fun story. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, so to read about her life - even fictionalized - is just a fun book all around. Add in espionage and a murder mystery and you have me hooked.

I loved Jane's sassy words, sharp judgement and fun humor. She was a force for sure from page 1 and I loved imaging her in this world. I also loved the slight nods at almost all her words as you see her glean ideas for her book

Arc Provided by Chronicle Books

I think I received an arc that was not quite ready for public reading: only that, would explain some mistakes regarding a character's age. Hope that got fixed in the final copy.
As for the plot itself, it never caught my interest. I am a huge Austen fan, and the Jane Austen in this book never shone. She was surly, reckless, and she did things who did not conform to the age she lived in. The author should have payed more attention to that. Calling strangers on a firs
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
A good read for hard-core Austen fans and an introduction for teens who haven't read her works. I love that it isn't just a rewrite but an original story set in a believable Jane Austen world. She incorporated all the elements of my favorite Austen heroines and created characters I'd like to know. The mystery was easily solveable, but the character's reactions were not. I hope she does more featuring Jane Austen as a character!
Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle, high-school
The plot moved a little slow in the beginning, but a good mystery suspense for older MS / younger HS fans of Jane Austen or her time period. Very impressed by the amount of biographical knowledge of Jane Austen (author's note at the end of the book) that went into the story and characters!
Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)
This was a quick and interesting read that I blew through. I found a majority of this book to be quite entertaining, even if it was a bit ridiculous at times.

I thought Jane was solid main character. I enjoyed her seeing her try and solve all of the craziness that occurred in this book. I wish there would have been a little more to Jane's character though. I feel like Jane Austen would have been quite a witty woman, and the Jane in this book was not very witty at all. I liked Jane, but it just wi
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Unlike Austen, whose books seem to center around England, MacColl's plot reaches from English shores to French nobility fleeing persecution, with love, murder and intrigue all around, but with the murder is kept low-key rather than being a primary feature, suitable for the time and place. It was a fun read, and I was disappointed to reach the end.

It was interesting to see how Austen took elements of her own family life and used them for her various books, from the characters to plot dev
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I love anything to do with Jane Austen. I find that no matter how many times I read her works its like its the first time. I was intrigued by the premise of this book and have read other works of fiction that have Austen as the main character. While I found this book to be a quick read, I felt that it lacked depth. First of all, the interaction between Austen and Tom Lefroy very similar to the interaction found in the movie Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James MacAvoy. There didn't se ...more
Kelley Rose
"Secrets in the Snow" is a clever, humorous, and fast-paced mystery that will quickly win the attention of Jane Austen fans!

MacColl takes the life of renowned author Jane Austen and creates a fascinating tale involving romance and murder. The book is smoothly written and I loved how the author opened each chapter with quotes from Austen's novels. Ms. MacColl's writing was filled with humor and imagination. I look forward to reading more of her works.

I will be purchasing this book for our library
Floria Taylor
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such an awesome book filled with "What if's" It is filled with truths about Jane Austen as well as fiction from the imagination of Michaela MacColl. Being an Austen fan myself and knowing the style Jane Austen wrote in I must say Michaela MacColl really honored her style. and the life of Ms. Austen mixed with the "What if's" of how Ms. Austen thought. Michaela MacColl did a spectacular job! I really look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Loved reading of a young Jane and her antics. Her vibrant and curious being grabbed my attention. Being a writer it makes sense that she would have good sleuthing skills.

The encounters with Mr. Lefroy were the right amount of fun and playful. He seems to be a great match for Jane. If only...

I would love to see more fictional stories like these with Jane as the main character in mini-adventures and dramas that could have fed into her imagination for her writings.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Secrets in the Snow" is a witty, fast-paced mystery that takes the life of well-known author Jane Austen and creates a captivating story involving romance, deception, intrigue and murder. The book is a joy to read and each chapter begins with quotes from Austen's novels. Overall, this was a delightful book filled with the right balance of humor and pathos, fact and imagination.

This book was received as a digital ARC in return for a fair and honest review.
Full review can be found at Story and Somnomancy.

Initial thoughts: Lack of editing and formatting aside (and there was a LOT of that), there was just too much nonsense in this story for me to actually like. Shame, I really wanted to. It was a fast read at least?
Heeeeey, I like! Though wholly fictional, it has the feel of something "that might have been" -- and presents a new take on the idea of Jane and her ill-fated romance with Tom Lefroy. Among other things.

Although this book was cute, it lacked any real intrigue or swoon. (Jane Austen deserves better.)

Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
I love Jane Austen and I'm not opposed to reading a fictional book with her as the main character, but this character wasn't very likable. She was nosy and disagreeable and it wasn't charming. The ending was also unsatisfying and justified murder.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book ended up being part biographical, part mystery and romance, and all around fun. Michaela MacColl pulls back the curtain between fiction and reality and blends the two with a fictional look at the real Jane Austen's life. There are plenty of real-life details and certainly a flavor in the language that is satisfying to me as an Austen fan. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the books were the quotes from Austen's work that some how tied in and gave a clue to the progress of the book itself. ...more
Libby Ames
Really more of a 2.5 stars because of plot weakness.

Young Adult Mystery/Historical Fiction

This lighthearted mystery stars Jane Austen as the main character rather than the author. MacColl combines bits of Jane Austen’s actual life history with a story of her own imagining to give more life to the well-loved author. This is a fun story and an interesting perception of Jane’s life. Each chapter also starts with an Austen quote that ties the fictional story to Austen’s novels.

Secrets in the Snow is
Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Michaela MacColl has written an adorable story for Jane Austen fans, like me. Secrets in the Snow has a great combination factual details from Jane Autsten's life and fictional details from MacColl's imagination.

Secrets in the Snow is a short and quick read, but has the perfect amount of love and mystery and adventure. The murder mystery plot was somewhat predictable, but it was still entertaining.

Also, if you enjoy having physical books, the hardcover copy of this is absolutely GORGEOUS!
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books, r2r
The first 80% of this book was a fun historical romance. When they threw in a quick murder mystery in the final pages, it caused the story to become rushed and predictable. The choices the characters made when the mystery was solved changed my whole outlook on them and made the story seem ridiculous. If it had just continued on the way it was originally written, it would have been a 4 star review. With the terrible ending, it lowered my vote to a 2.5.

See my full review here.
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I admire the series of which "Secrets in the Snow" is a part ("Novels of Intrigue & Romance"); Michaela MacColl takes famous women from history & creates YA mystery/romance stories, casting the young women as sleuths. I adore "Always Emily" (Emily Bronte), "Prisoners in the Palace" (Queen Victoria), & "Nobody's Secret" (Emily Dickinson). This one (about Jane Austen) suffered from repetitive prose & a lackluster romance.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the “created” conflict amidst the historical facts of Jane Austen’s life. The societal norms are explained throughout the novel in casual incidents. I’m still hoping for a budding romance for Jane Austen despite the known truth she never marries. The author’s note clarifies fact from fiction; I was enthralled by how much was true. Recommended for YA, historical fiction fans, Austen enthusiasts, and those who enjoy societal novels. Light, quick read.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a fun book intended for younger YAs. I think it will appeal most to those good readers who are interested in Jane Austen but not ready for Pride and Prejudice. Hardcore Austen fans may quibble with the accuracy of the manners of the times but this a book that I hope will find a young reader.
Korbie Harrison
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a different perspective on Jane Austen than any I'd read before. It was fascinating to look at a different angle, and to contemplate what is known of the woman and what we can only imagine. I liked that it made me think in a different way, and I really enjoyed the story and how the plot flowed. I'd recommend it as a just for fun read.
Taylor Chism
Jan 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I had a hard time finishing this book. I love historical fiction books, but this one was hard for me. I wanted to like it. I read a mixture of books being a teacher and a lot of children’s books keep in interested. Unfortunately that was not the case with this one. Now I would say a juvenile probably would like this one. The writing is definitely for that age to enjoy.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this blend of historical fact and fiction with Jane Austen as the main character in a murder mystery. It was a little simplistic, and not as complex as Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen Mystery series, but it was still good.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed enjoyed this book. A great fictional story about Jane Austen with a lot of references to her real life and novels that fans would catch. Without spoilers, I'll just say I enjoyed the mystery, intrigue, and romance.
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Prisoners in the Palace is my debut novel. I like to create historical fiction that has a modern appeal to teens and adults.

Regency romance blends enjoyably with historical fiction, with a plucky heroine for each mode. (Kirkus)

This novel is full of historical detail, vivid settings, and richly drawn characters, and themes of friendship and romance give the story teen appeal. (Booklist)

MacColl offe
More about Michaela MacColl

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“I would not want a husband who valued my appearance more than my wit.” 1 likes
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