Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: Jane Austen- A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef

Title: Jane Austen- A Life Revealed
Author: Catherine Reef
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publishing Date: July 2011
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography
Source: Netgalley

Jane Austen’s popularity never seems to fade. She has hordes of devoted fans, and there have been numerous adaptations of her life and work. But who was Jane Austen? The writer herself has long remained a mystery. And despite the resonance her work continues to have for teens, there has never been a young adult trade biography on Austen. 
Catherine Reef changes that with this highly readable account. She takes an intimate peek at Austen’s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austen’s published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Jane’s own work—and truly a life revealed. Includes bibliography and index.

Summary by Goodreads 

Jane Austen is one of my favourite classic authors, I enjoy her novels so much. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and PERSUASION are my two favourites. My love is easy to explain, because I simply show interest in time, customs, manners and the extraordinary ways of extraordinary characters to finding their love.

JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED is a biographical attempt to picture Jane Austen’s life, surroundings and novels. Catherine Reef presents the author, her family life and incorporates the books written by Austen into that timeline. It was highly interesting to learn more about Jane’s family and also typical difficulties about publishing in the 18th and 19th century.

This novel has many information and details, to me mostly already known details and so rather boring sometimes. What I experienced as too long and unnecessary, could assist a reader not accustomed with Austen’s work to follow the novels and analysis of Austen’s work much easier. Catherine Reef gives detailed summaries of all of Jane Austen’s books. The analysis tough isn’t that detailed and insightful.

JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED interests with a profound index bibliography. In addition this novel has many pictures and additional information and material like original photographed pages of Austen’s letters to offer. The layout is lovely and convinces with many quotes. Also included are filmic references to Austen movie adaptations.

The writing style isn’t that engaging, rather dry. It took me ages to read JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED because I often got distracted or uninterested, but I still could find a good re-start when reading on.

As JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED is full of information about Jane Austen that are true and biographical. I shall only mention one reason why we love this book. We can’t get enough of Jane. 

2,5/5 **/* A nice read for Jane Austen fans and people who want to enter that club.

JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED is a good way to learn more about the famous author and her work.

* Read the Google book preview here

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* Thanks to Netgalley and Clarion Books for allowing me access to the netgalley of JANE AUSTEN- A LIFE REVEALED!


  1. I'm sad to hear it was dry, that means it wouldn't hold my attention too long. Thanks for the honest review :)

  2. This, my friend, is - hands down - one of the best biography book review I have ever read! Thanks so much for being honest and so thorough - I loved it! I haven't read many Austin's novels yet, but I am so planning to read them all. It looks like this would be a read for me - if I ever decided to learn more about the fab Jane.

    And one more thing I just have to say - each time I visit your blog I feel like home! It's so deliciously European - makes me miss my home country! ;D ahhhh *sighs* beautiful! I love you for that! <3