While summer is officially with us till later in September, it always seems after Labor Day we leave summer behind us. With that in mind, my plan was to read MY JANE AUSTEN SUMMER: A SEASON IN MANSFIELD PARK by Cindy Jones prior to Labor Day.
I do love Jane Austen’s works like so many others, my favorites are: Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Price and Prejudice. And although this novel is inspired by Mansfield Park it just kept staring at me down in the bookstore till I finally bought it. Cindy, I so want to thank you for the Mansfield Park synopsis to start things off.
Things are not going exactly the way Lily Berry had intended in her life. She is stalking an ex-boyfriend who has moved on and refers to her as “needy”. She has lost her job as she made an unforgiveable error because she was reading a Jane Austen novel. Her mother recently passed away and her dad is embarking on a new life. So Lily does the only thing she can think of, accept a so called offer from her local Indie bookstore to work at a literary festival in England where people reenact Jane Austen novels.
Unfortunately for Lily, she soon learns from Vera, the owner of the Indie Bookstore, that the festival is run by volunteers and not paid employees. However, there was a little luck on Lily’s side as Vera’s husband ran the festival in England so Vera made a call. Desperately needing a change or maybe just to runaway Lily sold her belongings and boarded a plane and headed off to England with Vera.
It turns out that even though Lily flies across the pond she still cannot leave herself or her life behind her. Lily desires to be part of this festival and fights her way into a role. She even develops a new attraction at the festival that becomes quite popular. Along the way she makes a number of friends and foes and falls in love. While dealing with a range of emotions Lily comes to find herself and her strength.
While there are laugh out loud as well as tissue moments, the feel is light and it is a quick read. The setting is beautiful and the concept clever but most of all Lily’s Jane Austen is my favorite detail.