Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway - The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume II by Collins Hemingway

Book Synopsis

Jane Austen Lived a Quiet, Single Life-Or Did She?

Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a proper, contemplative, unmarried life. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she-and the marriage remained secret for 200 years?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen resolves the biggest mystery of Austen’s life-the “lost years” of her twenties-of which historians know virtually nothing.

• Why the enduring rumors of a lost love or tragic affair?
• Why, afterward, did the vivacious Austen prematurely put on “the cap of middle age” and close off any thoughts of finding love?
• Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters and journals?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy answers these questions through a riveting love affair based on the history of the times and the details of Austen’s own life.


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My Review  

Last year I enjoyed reviewing The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen.  That novel, the first in a series, details Jane Austen's courtship by Ashton Dennis.  This novel picks up as Jane and Ashton have married, and she finds her life suddenly changed as she helps oversee his large estate -- and discovers she is pregnant with her first child.


One of the things I enjoyed most about the first novel was a delight here as well.  Collins Hemingway captures the tone of Jane Austen's books and her use of language beautifully.  Austen fans are sure to enjoy this aspect of the novel.


I loved, too, the vivid descriptions in this book and the fine sense of another time and place.  For instance, Jane and her sister Cassandra are discussing how different Jane's life is at Hants House, the largest estate in Hampshire.  Cassandra looks around the room "like an agent canvassing an estate for an asset sale.  Before her were:


-- Period cabinets holding patterned china and antique clocks -- ornate sofas and tables, and fragile desks meant to be admired rather than used -- the chandelier that hung within concentric rows of gold designs against a white ceiling and the cherubim that looked down beatifically from each corner of the ceiling -- the blue-green wallpaper embossed with darker floral designs, framed with wood panels of a complementary color, something between gold and cream -- the thick rose-colored rug, the border of which matched the walls" (p. 10).


I enjoyed seeing the progression of Jane's character as she makes a conscious choice to ask the servants for opinions and subtly changes the running of the household.


Even more dramatic, Jane and Ashton become involved in the anti-slavery movement after they become acquainted with a couple who own a sugar plantation in the Caribbean.  


Jane and Ashton are seen as a marriage of true minds in most regards, except for one important one -- her writing.  Jane tries to juggle writing with marriage and impending motherhood.  Ashton tells her:  "You can live, or you can write  You can't do both" (p. 48).  Later when she reads Ashton some of her writing in progress, he is dismissive and asks her to "skip these domestic capers and get on to the good parts" (p. 207).  The book she had been reading him was First Impressions -- an early version of Pride and Prejudice!


I enjoyed The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Volume II so much, and I believe that anyone who enjoys Jane Austen's work -- or who values well written historical fiction -- will enjoy it just as much.   I look forward to reading Volume III.


Author Bio

Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people’s lives and everything that makes them complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity.

As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world’s thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader.

Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism.
Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus.

Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon.
For more information please visit Collins Hemingway’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.



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The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol II

I received a copy of this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

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