Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review- Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo

Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the first in the Formidable Series (I reviewed the second, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, last year).

I admire how Beth Pattillo plucks her heroes from the ranks of academia, she has a real knack for turning book nerds into dashing leading men. Her quirky writing style makes her novels completely different than anything else in the CBA. Like Mr. Darcy I found the inspy in this inspirational to be very subtle, which might be a selling point for those not used to Christian fiction.

I enjoyed getting a peak into Jane Austen's real life. Although many details were imagined by the author, there were enough facts sprinkled in to find it fascinating. But because of Pattillo's light-handed treatment of the romantic plot line, I found it difficult to consider this a page turner (y'all know how I feel about my romance). It was interesting enough, just not as engaging as the cover promised.

Want more info? Here's the product description:
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, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.

In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.

My rating: (Add an extra couple if you're a mega Jane Austen fan).


  1. I've been curious about these novels -- I love all things Austen. My 10 year old and I have been known to watch the LOST IN AUSTEN miniseries in one sitting... several times. (Of course, when you have it on DVD, you CAN pause to go to the bathroom, make lunch, etc.)

    But... I tense to think of a modern Austen-based tale to keep the romance light. Still, I'm curious to try these out. Jane's own hand wove romance through the entirety of story in such subtle ways, with such craft, that when "the big moment" of heart revelation came, the reader's hand couldn't help but flutter up to her heart. (Or maybe that's just me.)

    I may just have to try these... when I get the pile whittled down a bit!

  2. Cute review. I've been wanting this one for like ever.

  3. I liked the romance in Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart better. I might have liked this better if I read it at a different time. This summer I feel like I have reading ADHD. I'm looking for books that grab my attention and compel me to read it in one day. This one took a whole week. :P

    But really, it wasn't bad. I did like it. Just didn't LOVE it, and it wasn't a one day read.

  4. A whole week Joy? I read it in a day and a half. I enjoyed it very much. I also read Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart quite quickly. I love the way Beth Pattillo incorporated parts of Jane Austen's novels into these two books. But I did miss the "Happily Ever After" ending in Jane Austen Ruined My Life.

  5. I know a whole week! What's wrong with me? LOL. Must be PMS.

    I do think I missed the HEA of this one.

    Julie, I'm mailing that book I owe you tomorrow, even though I didn't read it. I will glady swap something else to get it back at a later date (after you read it), I just don't think I'm going to be up to reading it anytime soon and tomorrow I'm going to the post office.

  6. I'm in no hurry. It isn't like I don't have tons of books on my TBR shelves. LOL! I'm still sticking to my re-reading old favorites in July while incorporating some other books in as well. I have FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater sitting on my counter calling to me! But I'm in the middle of 2 books right now! Dare I start a 3rd? PLUS I'm in the midst of a major clean up project after a bedroom overhaul...I wish I could blame PMS on my going from one project to another. :)


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