Book Review: Jane in Love by Rachel Givney

I was lent this book by a fellow romance writer from the Wellington-Kapiti branch of Romance Writers of New Zealand (thanks Lisa!).

Who wants an up close and personal experience with Jane Austen? Me, says every Austen fan ever. This book will give you that promised experience. You’ll get to see how Jane thought, how she felt, what her daily life was like, and then, what she thinks of her popularity and the advancements in technology since her time.

This novel takes some liberties with Jane Austen’s life, but hey, it’s fiction. In fact, it’s fantasy. Time travel isn’t real people, no matter how much we wish it were. While it’s true that Mrs Austen and Jane didn’t necessarily get along all the time, there is no evidence to suggest that her mother was ever outright opposed to Jane’s writing career as she is cast here.

After a disastrous incident with a potential suitor, and a nasty gossip, Jane takes a chance and discovers a path to find her one true love which lands her in modern Bath. Here her fate is linked to that of former Hollywood darling, Sophia Wentworth (sound familiar?), who is in Bath shooting an Austen adaptation. She at first thinks Jane’s appearance is a prank pulled on her by the show for interesting behind the scenes footage.

Sophia and Jane’s stories are wound together, showing the difficulties of love and being an independent woman in any timeline. As Jane’s views widen, her life in the past begins to disappear, creating ripples into her future timeline. In the end it comes down to what is more important – her love or her art?