Publishing Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 262 pages
The Premise from the Publisher: "Jane Austen's family is eager to secure her future by marrying her off. But Jane is much more interested in writing her novels, and finds every suitor lacking-until the mysterious Mr. Lefroy arrives. Could he be the one? Before Jane can find out, she must solve a murder, clear her family's name, and face a decision that might cost her true love" (Chronicle Books).
My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise for this book, my immediate thought was the 2007 film Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. I've read a few historical accounts of Jane Austen's life but something about her relationship with Tom Lefroy has always intrigued me. And here came a book with the promise of looking at that, Jane's relationship with her family with a twist of a mystery.. I was pretty excited. I'm happy to say that this book did not disappoint. From the first page, I was already enjoying myself. I loved all the mini epigraphs before each chapter with a quote from one of Austen's works and I really enjoyed how readable the text was. In some ways, it reminded me a lot of Curtis Sittenfield's Eligible. It wasn't attempting to depict a different narrative, but rather it felt like meeting old friends again in a book. It was fantastic how MacColl wove the story with the history of Jane's family. I really enjoyed the passages between Jane and Eliza, and in some ways it reminded me of reading Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and the relationship between Lizzie and Jane. I don't wish to spoil this book, but I will say the "intrigue" in the title is definitely there with a mystery. I loved how everything unraveled in the end. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a real delight to read! I highly recommend it to fans of Jane Austen, but also those who are not quite familiar with her history because this book allows you to understand a bit more about one of the greatest literary writers ever. MacColl has also included an author's note (which I really appreciated), about the differences from her book and history & she's included a bibliography (yay!).
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
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The lovely folks at Raincoast Books have offered to send a finished copy of this book to one of my readers. The giveaway will run for one week (Ends October 11/16). All you have to do is comment below saying why you want to win this book. You can earn additional entries by following Raincoast and myself on twitter. The giveaway is for CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY (sorry international friends!) Good luck!
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour and show my fellow book lovers some love!Disclaimer: A finished copy of this book was sent to me by Raincoast Books for my participation in the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. The giveaway prize is also sponsored by Raincoast Books. All opinions are my own.