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Just Jane by [Moser, Nancy]
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Just Jane Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Moser (Mozart's Sister) frames this novel as a journal written by Jane Austen, following her life from when she falls in love with Tom Lefroy at age 20 until she is an established writer in her late 30s. Those familiar with Austen's life will recognize many of the circumstances—the loss of the beloved family home at Steventon when her father retired to Bath, the death of her sister Cassandra's fiancé, her mother's many illnesses. However, they may not recognize Moser's Austen, who mopes about pining after guys, resents her parents, worries regularly about whether she is a real writer and reflects on her faith in God (which was important to Austen, but which she was reticent to discuss). Austen's voice comes through in extensive quotes from her letters—paragraphs and even occasionally pages. Since these are mostly unmarked, readers may not recognize them as Austen's words, but their vivacity and wit often make them stand out from the rest of the writing. Some aspects of the book are charming, and it is an easy introduction to Austen's life. However, it fails to be compelling as it devolves into simply tracking events as they occur, and does not capture Austen's spirit. It will likely disappoint both Austen devotees and historical fiction fans. (Sept.)
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Product Description

In this moving and authentic portrayal, Christy Award-winning author Nancy Moser transports readers back to the life and times of one of the literary world's beloved heroines, Jane Austen. Growing up in a clergyman's home gives Jane opportunities to observe human nature at its best—and worst. Vivid and delightful characters pour from her pen—Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price, John Willoughby. . . . Jane dreams of publishing her stories and sharing them with the world, but how can she? She's just Jane from Steventon. Will anyone ever read her novels?

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 883 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Livingstone Books (Oct. 24 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #644,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Any Jane Austen afficiandos will be thrilled with this novelization of Jane's life. Nancy Moser did an excellent job of getting into the life and words of Jane Austen (and those of us who know books verbatim will recognize some fun phrases like, shelves in the closet, happy thought indeed!). This was a great read, and one that deserves attention, especially with the forthcoming release of the movie "Becoming Jane".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b159030) out of 5 stars 91 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b1da084) out of 5 stars This novel was a real surprise. Oct. 24 2007
By Esperanza - Published on
Format: Paperback
With all the hoopla over Jane Austen in recent years, especially the "Becoming Jane" movie, which I had heard was a bit over-the-top, I was not sure whether I was going to enjoy this book.

What actually drew me to it was the fact that it was published by Bethany House, a Christian publisher. I had never read anything before that tried to look at Jane as a woman of faith---even though her father was a rector. I was curious to see how the author would handle that, and wondered if she would stretch the truth in her portrayal of Jane to either 1) make Jane seem more religious/spiritual/pious than she probably was, or 2) make the book more exciting and romantic. Thankfully, she did neither.

The plot of the book seemed to closely follow the events from Jane's life that we know of based on some of her personal writings which have been previously published. Yes, that did at times make Jane seem slightly aloof to the reader---I wanted to know what she REALLY thought---but I appreciated that the author did not presume to know for sure, and therefore let some things just be vague. Even in the spots that were clearly out of the author's imagination, she stuck with the "Jane" she'd been presenting all along. There really was no melodrama. For this reason, I wouldn't call the book a page-turner. It was something more to savor at a slow pace, to flip back several pages now and again to recall what had already happened and refresh my memory about who was who in Jane's world.

The real proof of the excellence of this book comes at the end. When the story ended and I read the note about how and when Jane had died, I had tears streaming down my face. After having gotten to know her "in her own words" (so to speak, since the book was written in first-person narrative), I was just struck with sadness to think that she is really gone. I mean, OF COURSE we all know that Jane Austen died. But "Just Jane" made her life seem so much more REAL than the little blurbs about her that we can always read in the fronts of her few published novels. It was like reading "The Diary of Anne Frank," quite honestly. Like Anne, Jane had become a friend; it's terrible when a friend dies.

For Jane Austen fans who'd like to learn about Jane's life and aren't expecting a bunch of predictable and exaggerated drama, this book is perfect.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b1da0e4) out of 5 stars The Facts are Accurate But the Dull First-Person Narrative Isn't Dec 17 2007
By Kathryn Atwood - Published on
Format: Paperback
The life of Jane Austen reads like one of her novels - in most ways. There are balls, flirtations, close friends, tiresome family members, adverse financial situations which make marriage an apparent necessity and choices which hold out for love despite adverse financial situations. In one major aspect, however, the biography and the novels of Austen diverge: a happy romantic ending. Austen died at the age of 41, having never married.

Nancy Moser, author of Just Jane, a fictionalized account of Austen's life, postulates - quite correctly - that when Austen was "unable to find her own Mr. Darcy, she created him." Poser's book swells the basic facts of Austen's life into a first-person, 350-page narrative which dwells on Austen's evolution as a writer and points out the many obvious connections between the biographical facts of Austen's life and her fiction.

In utilizing first-person narration, Moser allows the reader into Jane's head, which is both illuminating and, in this particular case, often very disappointing. While the reader does get a cinematic view of the events of Austen's life as they unfold, the avid Jane Austen fan would expect something more - Jane Austen's sparkling voice which, sadly, is not apparent in Moser's book. Moser herself admits at the book's end that she "did not attempt to match the unique `voice' of Jane Austen, only to hint at it." This makes Moser's choice of first-person narrative quite puzzling; if she wasn't going to try and approximate Austen's voice, why in the name of the Regency period did she have Austen narrate the entire book?

As much as a true Jane Austen fan cannot conceive of being bored while reading one of her novels, so one cannot possibly imagine being bored while residing inside of Austen's head. Unfortunately, while inhabiting the one Moser's book creates, I often was. There isn't much here that even remotely sounds like the wonderfully witty writer who was frequently observed to laugh out loud, set aside her needlework and rush across the room for a sheet of paper with which to immortalize whatever clever line had just popped into her head. It strains literary credulity to believe that the same person who was able to write lines such as: "From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do" would, in her private moments, be thinking such dull stuff as "I am free to . . . be Jane. Day to day, day after day, just Jane."

Moser has spent considerable time researching her biographical facts, however, and anyone wanting to read a play-by-play account of the plot points of Austen's life will find plenty of illumination on that score (especially the chapter which contains a riveting account of Austen's reaction to her marriage proposal from Harris Biggs-Wither). But in order to hear that inimitable voice, you'll have to go back to those inimitable novels. Which is always a good idea.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b192bdc) out of 5 stars Not Just a Plain Jane Oct. 22 2007
By Deborah - Published on
Format: Paperback
What if Jane Austen had kept a diary of what inspired her to write her novels, her relationships, her hopes, her worries, her life? This book recreates that very question with an inside look at what Jane Austen's life would have been like. Told from first person narrative, Nancy Moser imagines what Jane Austen would have told only her diary her innermost feelings as she struggles to become a writer and hopefully discover love along the way. Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy this fictional autobiographical tale of one of the world's most beloved authors.

I love all things Jane Austen. I love all the movie versions that have come out of her books. Right now it's very "in" to be an Austen fan especially with the two recent movies that have come out about Jane Austen. I kept forgetting at times while reading that this was a fiction novel and not really Jane Austen's memoirs! The first person narrative is done extremely well that will make the reader think they have discovered the lost diaries of the author. I felt like I was literally dropped into the time period because the rich narrative made the story come alive. I liked how Jane would get the inspirations for her characters. She and her sister Cassandra were very much like Elizabeth and Jane Bennett from P&P while you could also seem resemblances from the people she would meet. Her reasons for never getting married are portrayed here as her reaction to societies' expectations on the role of women. I loved the authenticity with the way the book was written, right down to the "olde English". The only fault I found with the book is that you are dropped right into the middle of the story but are not given that much background info. There are a lot of characters mentioned as well, and it is easy to get quickly confused. Other than that, I found this book a joy to read. This book is highly recommended for historical fiction fans and those Austen fanatics who get enough of that 6 hour version of Pride and Prejudice.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b32dae0) out of 5 stars Exceptionally Jane! Sept. 29 2007
By Amateur - Published on
Format: Paperback
Though I am neither a reader of historical fiction or a Jane Austen afficionado, I was captivated by this novel. The writer drew me into the mind of Jane Austen from the first page, and never loosened her grip on my imagination. Wonderful insights, and so well blended with Jane's own style that I found it seamless. It made me laugh, and it made me tear up as this warm and fascinating writer in history sacrificed for her passion. As an avid reader, I find there are few books that engross me with such power. This is definitely one of them.
HASH(0x9b1ad150) out of 5 stars I really tried to like this book. Dec 5 2015
By HippolytaTS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tried any number of times to finish it but finally gave up at page 172 after (sort of spoiler) a love interest exits her life...because the development of this "love" relationship and its end was completed in less than 6 pages and with only one recorded conversation between Jane and the man. More actual detail was given by the author to the account of using the bathing machines at the sea shore that immediately preceded it.

One is, I suppose, to assume this was a pivotal event in Jane's emotional development but if the author couldn't be bothered to show (rather than tell) why this was so, it is hard to muster much interest.

I do understand the difficulty in writing about a much admired and well-known author when there is limited source material but, although we are told Jane writes a book with a Mr. Darcy and one about two sisters, there is little that explains her inspiration, her influences, or the source of her insight into people. In fact, in this first person narrative, there is little to indicate that the narrator was capable of writing Pride & Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. Which is a shame.