Book Reviews: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
Thursday, July 1, 2010Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
by Syrie James
Written by a Jane Austen scholar, this fictional work begins with the premise that Austen's lost memoirs have been found. The book is written from Austen's point-of-view and covers her late 20s and early 30s. It feels more like a novel than a memoir, but in a good way.
James did an excellent job researching this work and much of it is based in fact, merging real people, places and events of her life with a fictional love affair. She does an impressive job of capturing Austen's writing style and it truly feels like reading another novel from the author.
I loved reading about everything she had to go through to publish her books. It's easy to forget that during her lifetime, turning down a marriage proposal was almost unheard of, especially if you had no money or other prospects. Her true life is more fascinating than any fictional love, but that aspect makes it a fun read.
The plot pulls heavily from Sense & Sensibility and also from Pride & Prejudice, but not without reason. In James' book Austen is inspired to write those things because she experienced them.
It was a delightful, quick read and I can't wait to get my hands on her book, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë.
"I have found that there is never a perfect time or place for anything. We can always find a reason to put off that which we aspire to do, or fear to do, until tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – until, the end, we never accomplish anything at all."
I read this as part of the Everything Austen II challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word.