Sophia's Reviews > The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright
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Oct 03, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: jane-austen-austenesque, time-travel-romance

In The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, a strange though quietly desperate adventure unfolds for a modern yet shy woman who crushes on a certain dashing archeologist and fangirls over Harry Potter and Jane Austen, who loves her job setting people up in holiday rentals around her city, and is excited to meet a long-time online friend in person. Rose finds her life turned upside down when faced with one of those 'what would my life be without...' scenarios. Literally.

I was delighted by this tale and read it with a smile and eagerness because I share Rose's interests (even an archeologist crush, though that is neither here nor there). I love that she has a best friend that she has never met in person is now come for a visit and the visit is in Rose's home town of Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival (on my bucket list). Morgan is vivacious and openly friendly, delightfully American and Rose's opposite, but their real life meeting cements the long-time friendship. They share a variety of interests, but the focus setting for this story is their shared love of Jane Austen.

The biggest element is Rose learning she must not hesitate when life gives her opportunities especially after a bit of magic in the form of a magical charm and Miss Jane Austen herself show her what her life would be like without the pleasures she either takes for granted or refuses to try for. Poor Rose has been beaten down in the self-esteem department by a mother who only nags and points out her faults and an ex-boyfriend who made her feel worthless and unattractive. Morgan is a shot in the arm and between her and the intrepid Jane Austen, they help Rose see herself so very differently.

Rose's boss, James, draws the eye of Morgan and Jame's friend, Aiden who is in town to do a lecture, have both the ladies' swooning. While Morgan, initially is outgoing and friendly and able to approach James, Rose can't do more than get tongue-tied and act awkward around Aiden and assumes he doesn't even know she exists. There are hints that he does, but he is just as socially awkward as Rose- the adorable guy can only talk about his digs and history though he does finally make a few awkward tries that are lost on Rose. Let's just say I 'ahhhed' over this one sweet scene and wanted to shake Rose when she missed it because she was too busy convincing herself that he was just this, that, and the other with no romantic attentions toward her.

The Jane Austen element was whimsical and fun. I loved how the lady was portrayed. She is parts accepting of the modern day and parts shocked, but it's Jane so she is also wry and witty about her experiences.

The alternative storyline for Rose and Jane Austen was well thought. It was like what George Bailey had to experience in It's a Wonderful Life when Charlie the angel showed him the world without him in it or Dickens with his ghostly visit through Christmas past. And while I'm on a roll with book and movie comparisons, that last scene cracked me up and reminded me of the end to Back to the Future. Oh yes, I did love that open-ended moment of promise for much more adventure for Rose and the rest.

But in all seriousness, this was a gently-paced, thoughtful, and heartwarming story of a woman and her simple life which grows richer for having her friends, her daydream romance maybe come to life, and her love of Jane Austen and her stories in it. I would recommend this to Austenesque lovers, of course, but also fans of contemporary romance and women's fiction who don't mind a bit of magical realism.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra Grafton Oh thank you SO much, Sophia Rose, for this lovely review! It means the world!


Sophia Cassandra wrote: "Oh thank you SO much, Sophia Rose, for this lovely review! It means the world!"

Truly, my pleasure, Cassandra. It was an engaging read and left me with laughter on my lips for that closing scene.


Debbie Brown "...a bit of magical realism." SO cool! You do have a way with words, dearie. This is already on my TBR pile, but after reading your intriguing review, I'll have to slide it up closer to the top. Thanks, Sophia!


Sophia Debbie wrote: ""...a bit of magical realism." SO cool! You do have a way with words, dearie. This is already on my TBR pile, but after reading your intriguing review, I'll have to slide it up closer to the top. T..."

Why thank you, Debbie! :) Yes, the magical portion made this a fun one. Hope you like it.


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