Book reviews

Jane in Love by Rachel Givney tells the story of what might happen if Jane Austen time-travelled from 1803 to present day Bath, then had to make a choice between true love and writing novels.

Despite watching Jane appear out of nowhere, Sofia Wentworth, who was preparing to play the role of Mrs Allen in a film adaptation of Northanger Abbey, believed that she was an actor playing Jane Austen as part of a practical joke similar to a Candid Camera scenario.

Deciding to go along with the joke, Sofia played along with the strange things Jane said and did as she reacted to modern life. For Jane, learning that six of her novels, most of which had not yet been written or conceived of in her own time, had been published and were enormously successful was overwhelming.

Realising that Jane wasn’t going to break character, Sofia took her home to stay with her at her brother Fred’s home.

Jane had already met Fred on the film set and chastised him for his lack of manners towards her when they were asked to dance together for a scene.

The story then followed both Sofia and Jane over the following months.

Sofia had recently separated from her husband who was the director of the Northanger Abbey adaptation and hoped that working together would rekindle their marriage. Sofia was also struggling emotionally with playing an older character rather than being the young, beautiful star of the film.

Although Jane and Fred found each other irritating they fell in love, however as Jane became more established in the present her novels started to disappear. Eventually Jane realised she had to choose between being a little-known writer who would only have small success in her own time and enjoying true love in the present with Fred.

Jane in Love is a story for romantics rather than for die-hard Jane Austen fans and my advice would be to read the book in the spirit of how it has been written, which is for fun.

Comments on: "Jane in Love by Rachel Givney" (8)

  1. well, I’m tempted by the title!

  2. Sounds fun and original! I can’t even imagine how someone from the 18th century would react if they were suddenly in today’s society… everything would seem like magic or the devil.

  3. Aagh! I hope she decided to go back and write the books! Fred would have to be Darcy and Willoughby rolled into one to be worth giving up her writing for…

  4. I’m a great believer in judging a book for what it is. We can enjoy truly great literature and equally enjoy a light-hearted feelgood romp but compare one with the other and trouble brews. This one does sound fun. I’m still imagining Jane arriving in modern Bath. The mind boggles!

  5. The title gets straight to the point, doesn’t it? I liked it, too.

  6. The plot reminded me a little of the movie Kate and Leopold where Hugh Jackman’s character came from the past into the present. I remember him being very impressed by fast cars!

  7. Not to mention my favourite, Captain Wentworth!

  8. I’m constantly reminding myself not to be overly judgmental! While Jane in Love wasn’t Jane Austen, it was fun and I enjoyed it and you’re right, they shouldn’t be compared because they are not the same and nor are they meant to be.
    The character Jane seemed to enjoy modern Bath much more than the real Jane Austen was said to have liked it in her own time 🙂

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