The follow up to Jane Austen Ruined My Life (2009) finds recently unemployed Claire Prescott heading to England to give a paper for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar. Not an Austen scholar by any means, Claire feels out of place at Oxford among the learned Austenites until she’s approached by elderly Harriet Dalrymple, who claims to be in possession of a partial manuscript of First Impressions, an early version of Pride and Prejudice. When she shows Claire the manuscript bit by bit, Claire is surprised to find a very different love story for Elizabeth Bennet unfolding on the page. Claire is questioning her own relationship with her stable but sports-obsessed boyfriend, Neil, while engaging in a serious flirtation with James, a handsome, inscrutable publisher. When Claire presents her sister’s paper and finds some startling parallels to her own life in it, she realizes she has some serious reevaluating to do. Readers who enjoyed Pattillo’s debut will find many similarities (and one familiar character) here, while Claire’s journey of self-discovery is undeniably enjoyable.
This is one of those books that came to existence solely based on one author’s name; Jane Austen. The story was interesting enough but characters were not developed as much as I hoped and I felt like there’s no chemistry between any character in the story. It had a happy ending which left me rather unhappy, if that makes any sense….
I wouldn’t have quite titled the book, “Mr. Darcy broke my heart” based on the story I read but I suppose you have to market a book in some way to catch attention. :-(