Name of book: The Austen Girls
Author: Lucy Worsley
Published: 5th September 2019
Genre: Historical fiction
Number of pages: 320 (Paperback)
Start Date: 28th December 2021
Finish Date: 1st January 2022
Set in the world of Jane Austen, Worsley wonderfully explores the lives of two of Jane's nieces Fanny and Anna, and their quest to find husbands in the height of the Regency era where women were expected to be married off when they came of age.
In this book you meet the nieces of the famous author Jane Austen; Fanny Austen and Anna Austen. You see Anna and Fanny enter into society, Anna Austen has always been told that she needs to marry rich; her whole future depends on it. Whereas Fanny has a little more choice when it comes to her suitor but she is too under pressure to find the right suitor. When all seems lost the only person that seems to have the answer is their Aunt Jane. Jane has never married, in fact she is perfectly happy being single, so is being single a bad thing? The time will come for each of the Austen girls to become heroines of their own stories. Lucy Worsley brings alive the delightful life of Jane Austen like you have never seen before.
The genre of the book is historical fiction, compared to the
other books in this genre I have to say this is the one most pleasing to read. The two main characters Fanny Austen and Anna Austen are two completely different girls from two different backgrounds but being cousins and best friends they can’t live without each other.
Fanny lives in a grand house as the daughter of the eldest son and heir. She is quiet, nervous and unsure what to expect from her first ball. Whereas Anna, has little wealth, but what she lacks in finery and position she makes up for with confidence and beauty. Both of the girls adore their Aunt Jane who spends much of her time living with her elder brother and talking with her nieces. Without children of her own, she is generous with her advice and wisdom especially when it comes to Fanny.
The story is so thrilling to read with different twists and turns, you can see how Jane Austen comes up with her classic novels as you see the high society life of the 19th century as well as life in the simpler form. You also hear about the terrible workings of ‘The Clink’ where low status petty criminals were sent. The pace of the story was just right, it never seemed to slow or too fast. My primary emotion when I finished reading was eagerness to know more, but I guess in a way I can learn more through Jane Austen’s books now.
I highly recommend this book especially to young readers who haven’t yet been introduced to Jane Austen’s novels; this is a great springboard into her world.