DEAREST COUSIN JANE
Rating: 3 Cups
Even as a young girl Eliza always had a pension for flirting and flamboyance, much to the consternation of her more conservative relations. But for all the gaiety and fun, Eliza has her share of heartache, although she never lets it dampen her spirit.
When one is as spirited and unconventional as the lovely Jane Austin, conflict is sure to follow. And while the ensuing dramas lend themselves well to her passion for writing, they are very hard on her relations in and outside of family.
Marrying the Comte de Feuillide gives Eliza every opportunity to live grandly and without constriction, as well as a dear child that she holds very close to her heart for as long as God permits. Through the pain of losing all of her closest relations, Eliza holds onto her friendship with her lovely young cousin, Jane. Eliza makes it a point to encourage Jane’s writing when others in the family disparage such actions, considering them unsuitable for the daughter of a reverend. Even at the worst of times Jane and Eliza offer staunch support for each other as well as their family, and while all of their dreams may not come to fruition, they will enjoy a most wonderful friendship.
I am sure that if you have a fondness for eighteenth century English conventionality, you will find this to be a most enjoyable read. I, however, found many of the characters to be gossip hounding shrews at best and downright self-righteous hypocrites at worst. In addition, the bulk of this novel is laid out as a compilation of correspondence between family members, which in my opinion inhibits the continuity and emotional involvement for the reader. However, the dedication to detail of scene and fashion is beautifully done, and the prose is exceptional, and I am certain if you are a Jane Austin fan, this a read not to be missed.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More