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Jane Austen Ruined My Life

(Adventures with Jane Austen and her Legacy #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,687 ratings  ·  991 reviews
English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should - a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman.
Paperback, 270 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by GuidepostsBooks
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,687 ratings  ·  991 reviews

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Melissa Rochelle
May 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 Mans
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves Jane
Pre-judgements on books are always iffy. Without some kind of pre-judgement, without the weighing of cover art and blurb, opening a book cover would be like opening an unlabeled can: will it be beans, or cherry pie filling, or one of those gag snakes-on-springs things? But so often the data available on the outside of the book sets up the wrong expectations (or gives away too much of a mystery, but that's another rant)...

I thought, based on the cute title and the cover photograph of a swooning
Samantha Hastings
Jan 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I have read dozens of Jane Austen spinoffs and this one is pretty good. There were a few things that were entirely unbelievable; namely:

1. I have never met an English professor who dressed in designer clothing. (I have a graduate degree from a British University. I have met many professiors nationally and internationally.)
2. No professor would be fired for plagiarism because of their ex-husband's testimony. The main reason is that every person has a distince voice when they wri
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I stayed up late into the night to finish this and I like my sleep so that just shows I was pretty gripped. I have to confess that I’m not a die hard Jane Austen fan; I’ve only read P&P thus far, so I wouldn’t know how real fans of Austen would feel about this book.

Emma (figures her name would be Emma or something like that) decides to go to England for a change of scenery. After divorcing her husband and losing her job as a professor she could use it, but that is not the only re
Mar 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: austen-esque
I picked this up at the bookstore the other day because it looked entertaining. (What Austen fan could resist that title?) In the end, this book wasn't really what I expected. Yes, it was a bit fomulaic with all the elements you would expect from Chick Lit, but it also had some interesting insights. Maybe it's because of where I'm at in my life, but it hit me just a little bit deeper than the typical Chick Lit would and gave me some things to think about. All in all, an enjoyable way to spend an ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Just finished this book and I can't even say what it was about. I can't even say if there was a moral to the story or what the purpose of the telling was. There was a bit of a 'treasure' hunt involving unknown Jane Austen letters, in which the character, Emma, was sent to various places, perform a task, then open an envelope and read a copy of the letter.

I think the point of this hunt was to show Emma something. But, I can't figure out what it was! She came off a divorce to a snake of a guy who
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fun book for any Jane Austen lover!

Fresh off an ugly divorce from her cheating husband, who also ruined her career, Emma goes on a pilgrimage to England to find the lost letters of Jane Austen. Emma is an Austen professor, an Austen fanatic, an Austen "junkie", as she sets out on her quest in hopes of restoring her credibility and reputation. What she restores is her faith and hope in all things Jane Austen...and herself.

"It's hard for modern-day people to imagine how l
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, but since I had enjoyed the author's Betsy books, I was reasonably certain I'd enjoy this one.

I didn't just enjoy this book, I absolutely loved it. It was partly due to the fact that I adore Jane Austen and reread her books at least once every year.

The parallels the storyline took with Austen's novel plots was both poignant and surprising. I'm sure I didn't describe that adequately, but there it is. There were several poi
Julie Bestry
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Pleasant little chick lit book. Let's face it, if one is a Jane Austen fan of any proportions, one will read any damned thing with her name in the title. I'm guilty. I started the book on Wednesday evening and finished it on Thursday afternoon -- which gives you some sense of the complexity or lack thereof.

Happily, the book doesn't foist a framework of an Austen novel (or multiple Austen novels) on the modern heroine's life. Rather, we have a charming travelogue of Austenesque locale
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
With such a provacative title, I couldn't resist. Because she has ruined my romantic sensibilities or at least my husband tells me so. This book is about an English professor who has recently divorced her husband after finding him on the kitchen table with her teaching asst. Circumstances lead her to merry old England where she is led through Jane Austen's world on a series of tasks to discover the keys to a plethora of "missing" Austen letters. What these letters say and and how they turn Emma' ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Throughout the whole book I kept saying to myself, "at least this story will end well...the end will make up for everything." And then I finally got to the end and was...even more disappointed.

The two major things that I think turned me off was ONE, the main character. I never connected with her. She came off as self-centered and hard hearted and remained that way to the very end. Everything was about her. She was on this journey to discover secrets about Jane Austen and I kept thinking that at
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Could Jane Austen ruin your life?

American college professor Emma Grant always does the right thing and expects the same from others. She acquired her expectations from her minister father and her favorite author Jane Austen, who both taught her to believe in the happily-ever-after. Life was turning out as planned until she unexpectedly discovers her husband’s affair with her teaching assistant who in turn falsely accuses her of plagiarizing another author’s work. An academic scandal ensues p
***Possible Spoilers***

With a title like that, one would think this book is just another Austen inspired piece of fluff, right?

Not exactly. JARML is predictable in that there is the heroine, the good guy, and the bad guy. Most of the similarities end there. In this story, the heroine, Emma (a JA scholar), already had her happily ever after. Or so she thought. Turned out the guy was a total jerk.

So in the aftermath of a ruined marriage as well as a ruined career, Emma hea
Aug 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporarylit
A daft emancipation novel about a woman who is recovering from a disastrous series of events that ruined her life. She, through some deranged logic, feels that her devotion to Jane Austen's novels have caused her believe marriage was the final hurdle to life's happy ending. Determined to expose Austen's secreted private letters to her literary gain, the protagonist slowly learns the obvious, that she is wrong to blame a dead author for her choices, wrong to betray what has been protected, and de ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Oh my goodness. OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!! I can't even think of the proper typed word to truly express how angry the ending of this book made me. I seriously can't find the word. Do you believe in Happily Ever After? Do you like to read stories about Happily Ever Afters? Well, if so, please keep away from this book. I happen to believe in HEA. I believe that HEA is possible for all of us. What my HEA might look like might be a lot different than yours, but I do believe in it. Does HEA mean that life is ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
I picked this up because the title caught my attention and I thought that it would be a quick, fun read. I read a lot of classics and I am trying to be less of a book snob, so I thought that a quick foray into chick-lit might be fun, especially since it references one of my favorite authors. This book made me want beat a hasty retreat to the safety of my classics.

There were times when I found the book interesting. The idea of a secret society that guards Jane Austen's letters was int
Rosalyn Eves
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Three stars may be a bit generous, but I really wanted to like this book. The story follows Emma Grant, a professor of English who blames Jane Austen when, after following Austen's dictates and finding her own "Mr Knightly" (an older, more established professor), her marriage falls apart when her husband takes up with her teaching assistant, and she loses her job when the TA accuses Emma of plagiarizing one of her (the TA's) papers. Emma apparently blames Austen for a faulty belief in happy endi ...more
Kim Miner Litton
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Pros: A sweet, escapist story. Someone else on here said a "DaVinci Code-light, for Austin fans" which I agree with. Some Jane Austen tribute books would have you accept time travel, supernatural characters, or fan-fiction like "sequels." In this one, you must accept a Secret Society of Jane Austen enthusiasts protecting her legacy. Sure, why not. The love story is pretty sweet, if a bit predictable.

Cons: Not just the problem of mistaking the Bertrams for the Rushworths in Mansfield
Hélène Louise
I was very happy at the beginning of this book: it's well written, with a dry humour that appealed to me.
All the facts about Jane Austen's live and work are nearly accurate (the Bertram misnamed!) and pleasantly detailed for a fan I am. The story in itself - the possibility of hidden letters of the author - is exciting and not totally improbable.
But I couldn't read on and had to stop at about half of the book. It was, for certain aspects, to much hollow. I don't mind slow stories, but onl
Feb 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
This novel was recommended to me by a friend who knows how much I adore Jane Austen.

It’s about a woman who’s recently divorced (spectacularly, I might add). Her career as a literature professor has been ruined by her ex. So, she embarks on a wild goose chase in England to discover the unknown pieces of Jane Austen’s life (her means: obtaining letters supposedly destroyed by Jane’s sister, Cassandra).

I found the parallels this author drew to Austen’s novels whimsical; a nice touch. B
Julie Graves
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Emma Grant's life seems to be falling apart. She found her husband in a compromising situation(on their dining room table) with her Teacher's Assistant. She was asked to leave the University she was teaching at for being accused of plagiarizing a paper. She has sold everything she has in order to buy a ticket to London to pursue lost letters of Jane Austen that may or may not exist. When she arrives she finds that she is not alone in the flat she is borrowing from her cousin. Her former best fri ...more
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a 3.5 star book for me. It was a great little bit of summer escapism, yet I sometimes found parts of it too didactic, and at other times, I kept thinking Beth Pattillo hadn't REALLY given us a good look at what our heroine was like. Perhaps because Emma, the disgraced (due to a charge of academic plagiarism) and betrayed (by her unfaithful scoundrel of a husband) does not know herself and her true feelings well, we were supposed to buy that--but it still bothered me at times. On the othe ...more
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Emma Grant was living a real life Jane Austen fantasy. She had a promising career. She was even married to the perfect gentleman. So she thought. That is, until Emma caught her husband Edward and his teaching assistant in a compromising situation on the kitchen table. This just happened to be the same woman who would later accuse Emma of academic plagiarism.

Angry that she actually believed Jane Austen’s nonsense about true love, Jane went a little crazy. She decided that she’d go to
Pepper Basham
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Hilarious, unexpected, and a bit unsettling in the end. I'm a happily-ever-after kind of girl and this book made me want to read an epilogue solving all of the romantic solutions. Being a Jane Austen junkie myself, I found this lighthearted and and sometimes deeply moving book a fresh commercial break for the romance genre fan as well as for a Jane Austen fan.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-2016
This book was marvelous. As a fan of Austen myself I greatly appreciated the research that had to have gone into the creation of this book. A perfect blend of fact and fiction. It was enchanting and the characters were real and raw. I look forward to the next two novels.
It was a pretty good and quick read. :)
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, especially for fans of Jane Austen. For the record, I wanna be a Formidable.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, chick-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fast and more than that until we have book club! ;)
It took me less than twenty-four hours (way less) to finish reading this book; and a lot of it was because I was focused on getting to the end and seeing how the story played out. I held off on reading this book because at the time I'd gotten it, I was too overwhelmed with all the other Jane Austen-based books I'd gotten my hands on (and how can there be enough, right?).

After finding her husband playing games with her teaching assistant atop her kitchen table, Emma disappears to London at the i
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Adventures with Jane Austen and her Legacy (3 books)
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“I took my time, running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull a title from the shelf and inspect it. A sense of well-being flowed through me as I circled the ground floor. It was better than meditation or a new pair of shoes- or even chocolate. My life was a disaster, but there were still books. Lots and lots of books. A refuge. A solace. Each one offering the possibility of a new beginning.” 118 likes
“Heartbreak is more common than happiness. No one wants to say that, but it's true. We're taught to believe not only that everyone deserves a happy ending, but that if we try hard enough, we will get one. That's simply no the case. Happy endings, life long loves, are the products of both effort and luck. We can control them, to some extent and though our feelings always seem to have a life of their own, we can at least be open to love. But, luck, the other component, well there's nothing we can do about that one. Call it God's plan or predestination or divine intervention, but we're all at its mercy. And sometimes God isn't very merciful. Jane taught me that.” 56 likes
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