Book Review: "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen" by Sally Smith O'Rourke
Title: "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen" Author: Sally Smith O'Rourke Publisher: Kensington Publication Date: 1/1/2009 Pages: 320
Book Description (PBS):
When New York artist Eliza Knight buys an old vanity table one lazy Sunday afternoon, she has no idea of its history. Tucked away behind the mirror are two letters. One is sealed; the other, dated May 1810, is addressed to 'Dearest Jane' from 'F. Darcy' - as in Fitzwilliam Darcy, the fictional hero of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". Could one of literature's most compelling characters been a real person?
More intriguing still, scientific research testing proves that the second, sealed letter was written by Jane herself. Caught between the routine of her present life and these incredible discoveries from the past, Eliza decides to look deeper and is drawn to a majestic, 200-year-old estate in Virginia's breathtaking Shenandoah Valley. There she meets the man who may hold the answer to this extraordinary puzzle.
Now, as the real story of Fitzwilliam Darcy unfolds, Eliza finds her life has become a modern-day romance, one that perhaps only Jane herself could have written.
My Overall Feeling of the Book:
I love just about all things Austen but for some reason this book just was not what I expected. The blurb makes the book sound like a great romance but it just didn't quite make it there for me.
It is funny, but my favorite character was Darcy's friend Harv Harrington. He was pretty much a playboy looking for a rich wife but he had such great one-liners and charisma! I thought he was hilarious.
My Favorite Scene:
My absolute favorite scene is when Eliza just bought the vanity and got it home. She sits on the floor to look it over and discovers the letters! I was holding my breath. It was so exciting! If only that would happen to me!
My Favorite Sentence (s):
Harv ignored the remark and, clearing his throat, contintued in a mournful tone, "I struck out in the marriage bowl. My sister hasn't fared any better and continues to hope that Fitz will reconsider his stand and marry her. But the only way that might happen is to get him blind drunk so he forgets how obnoxious she is long enough for us to whisk him off to Juarez or someplace where they still perform fifteen-dollar weddings without a blood test."
Harv Harrington, Page 193
It Woud Have Been Better If:
I just didn't get how Eliza thought she could be falling in love with Darcy when all he did was tell her the story of how he fell in love with Jane Austen. There wasn't enough interation between Eliza and Darcy to make it believable.
I Would Recommend This Book To:
Auten lovers, hopeless romantics, antiquers, museum goers, history buffs, and those of us who do wish that Fitzwilliam Darcy was a real person and that Jane Austen had a great love.