On the surface, it’s easy to dismiss Jane Austen’s novels as just another series of romance novels. The key with Austen is to look deeper, to find the subtle and subversive message that Austen has left for her readers, if they know where to look.
In Lies Jane Austen Told Me, by Julie Wright, Emma Pierce thinks she has it all. A solid career and a boyfriend named Blake who is about to propose. But the proposal does not go as Emma though it would. Heartbroken and angry, Emma throws herself into work. Then Emma finds out that her boss is hiring Blake’s brother Lucas as a consultant.
Emma is determined to keep the relationship as professional as possible, but Lucas is the polar opposite of his brother. He also has his own secrets. Emma will learn that romance and relationships are as complicated in real life as they are on the page. Can she create her own happy ending from the chaos that is her life?
There are two types of modern fiction writers who use Austen’s characters and narratives for the backbone of their novels. One type of writer only skims the surface without truly understanding what Austen was writing about. The other type of writer not only understands Austen, but finds a way to integrate her work into their own without making the reader feel like there is a disconnect. The problem with this book is that Ms. Wright is the first type of writer.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.