Friday, March 4, 2011

Jane Austen: A Life Revealed, Review

Jane Austen's popularity never seems to fade. She has hordes of devoted fans, and there have been numerous adaptations of her life and work. But who was Jane Austen? The writer herself has long remained a mystery. And despite the resonance her work continues to have for teens, there has never been a young adult trade biography on Austen.

Catherine Reef changes that with this highly readable account. She takes an intimate peek at Austen’s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austen's published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Jane's own works and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.

 I've admit when i got the book i didn't read carefully the summary with a result of me thinks that got Jane Austen's story into a novel than a biography book. When i learned about it, i was pretty sure i did a big mistake. Funny is that i really liked it.

Reef's writing is simple and basically (for that kind of books which i'm not fan) is not tiresome. It was so easy to read it and i finished in some hours. And not only that, but i managed to indeed learn some things about Jane Austen! The face that i didn't fall asleep in the middle of it, it's only because Reef writes so easily and make you interested to go on with it. Why school books are not like that? :P

As for what i learned...the only things i knew about Austen where from the movie "Becoming Jane" which i had my doubts of how true was it. I was surprised to learn, that the movie had real basis. The basic story with the guy (i said i remember some things...names are not my good thing), happened and end "badly". Another fact that really surprised me, is how her family felt like to keep her life secret and destroyed most evidence about how she lived. It was funny, that there are more things known about the rest of her family than her! They burned letters and even the drawings of her that exist, people say that not exactly how Austen looked. All this mystery makes it interesting, eh?
And for the people who try to get a book out, you can't even imagine how difficult was for her to publish her novels. How many times she changed her titles or storyline. For the readers, the books in her time needed over a year to get printed O.O We need to stop whining, i believe.

I could go on with things i learned, or how awesome is the start of the book (the last "half"scene Austen wrote before she died ) - my favorite part of the whole thing.
I think that Reef did a great job with it. She knows how to write and keep a young person reading about something that we find so boring and uninteresting. I wish, there were more books like it.

Challenges: 100 Books in 2011, E-books in 2011

Thanks NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt fro providing an ARC.


  1. Geat review, Yiota! This is one book I am definitely going to read . I love anything about Jane Austen!

  2. great review, but not a book i would read!


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