I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend – Cora Harrison

Jane says that if I am to be the heroine of this story, something will throw a hero in my way…

I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend is the diary of Jenny Cooper, set in 1791. Jenny is an orphaned girl who has become best friends with her cousin, the famous writer Jane Austen.

Being in a diary format really allows readers to understand the character – although I found it a little perplexing when on occasion it suddenly swaps to a third person narrative, before again returning to a diary format.

The book is set when both girls are teenagers, and this was a great, original idea. Jenny was a great character and so was Jane, both seemed like teenagers whilst at the same time they also acted younger – as girls in that time period did. I think the author did well to factor in this and make it work so effectively.

The book begins with both girls ill at boarding school, however fortunately, Jane’s parents collect both girls and nurse them back to health…

The girls are taken to the Austen family abode, which is also a boys, boarding school. This makes for a great atmosphere which all the characters enjoy growing up in.

During the summer, Jenny and Jane attend their first ball, where they catch the eye of several gentlemen and so the two girls learn about romance and fall in love…

The love interests of the girls were definitely justifiable, they all seemed so gentlemanly and kind.

It was easy to see how the author had incorporated Jane Austen and her novels in to the story, the book has taken facts and wrapped fiction around them. This makes the book perfect for any younger readers and teenagers wanting to read about Jane Austen and get a taste for the style of novels she writes.

Ultimately, the book was  a great, girly read and I would recommend to anyone who loves a good period drama.

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