Saturday, 11 June 2011

Review: Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef

Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef

Details: Hardcover, 192 pages
Published: April 18th 2011 by Clarion Books
Source: I got it for review.
My Rating: 3/5
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: 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 work—and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.

My Review: I just re-read this review and I think it is pretty obvious that I have no idea how I feel about this book. I am all over the place. I both liked this book and felt like it didn't do what it was supposed to do, tell me more about Jane Austen.

Jane Austen: A Life Revealed is a short, fast, easy to read biography for young adults. It is packed full of information about Janes' family and her novels. However I feel like I still don't know much about Jane. This book is well researched and well written, although a bit slow at some parts and once in awhile it reminded me a little of something a teen would write for school.

I still can't believe how much I learned about her family in such a short time. I just wish I learned more about Jane. That is why I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. It was good and I did enjoy it, I just don't feel like it tells you much about Jane herself. You learn about her family, friends and novels, but not Jane.

I wouldn't recommend this book to people who haven't read all of Jane Austens' novels due to spoilers, I do think everyone who has read them all should pick this up. It is a must read for all Jane Austen lovers. Even if it leaves you with more questions then answers.

1 comment:

  1. I always sort of roll my eyes when I see a book that purports to be revelatory about Austen's life. I pretty much assume that there's really nothing new to be said and everything that could be said has been said before. Unless a cache of personal papers manifest in the future, it's not going to change but perhaps the difference here is that this biography is written for the young adult. Not sure what merit there is in this, frankly. As a young adult I was reading biographies written for adults if I were interested enough in someone to want to read about one's life.

    But now I'm sitting here pondering . . . what author's life should be written for the young adult?