Kat's Reviews > What Would Jane Austen Do?

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
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's review
Dec 20, 2010

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bookshelves: jane-austen, historical-fiction, chick-lit, books-i-own, read-in-2010

Yes, the title is what made me want to read this book. The cover, however, is a big turnoff — looks like a cheesy bodice ripper. But the story itself is quite clever.

The book follows Eleanor Pottinger, a Los Angeles-based costume designer, who's visiting England for a conference. When her hotel reservation gets screwed up, she ends up staying in the haunted room of the hotel. The ghosts of two Regency-era sisters, Mina and Dierdre, inhabit the room and convince Eleanor to go back to 1814 and help prevent a deadly duel. She reluctantly agrees and travels back in time, posing as Mina and Dierdre's American cousin. She meets the handsome rake Lord Shermont and is instantly smitten with him, just like every other female who's graced by his presence. While Eleanor misses the comforts of modern-day life, she's adjusting to Regency life just fine.

The title of this novel, I feel, is a bit misleading. Jane Austen does make an appearance in this book, and she's just as pleasant as any Janeite like myself would hope her to be. But most of the time, when Jane Austen's name comes up in the text, it's only when Eleanor asks herself, 'What would Jane Austen do?' in any given situation. I was hoping for more actual Jane in this book.

This book should be a fast read, but it didn't grab my interest enough in the beginning to make me want to devour it quickly. I lagged when reading this book. The plot moves too slowly at times, but it picks up eventually. You can tell Laurie Brown really did her research when writing this book, as it's rich with historical details.

If you like time-travel romances, this is the book for you. Especially if you like Regency romances. But if you're looking for something more "Jane Austeny", skip it.


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