Sunday, September 09, 2018

Jane of Austin Hillary Manton Lodge ~ Reviewed

Jane of Austin
Hillary Manton Lodge
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook (June 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601429347


“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” ― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.


I love Jane Austen. And I tend to enjoy the creative tweaks her ideas have spawned. Traditionalist, classic Austen lovers who don't want her stories trifled with might not find this novel as endearing as I did.

Hillary Manton Lodge stays close to the story but builds it into a believable modern twist. Jane, Celia and Margot are displaced after a family scandal leaves them without a protector of sorts. They move far away from their beloved home to start fresh.

There Jane is rescued (or at least her tea plants are) by a knight in shining armor who then woos Jane's heart. While living in the carriage house on a cousin's property, they rebuild their lives and look for a new, perfect location for a tea shop. They struggle together to make sense of all the difficulties they've faced, in a way. Jane, though distracted by Sean and the search, is concerned that Celia won't even talk about the most important thing she left behind, her love. Distance grows between the sisters. And then a handsome friend of their cousin's enters the picture. Captain Callum Beckett traded his leg for a load of nightmares while serving his country. Burdened and coming home to face a mess his father and brother left behind, he discovers he is concerned about Sean Willis, and the damage he might do to Jane's heart.

The author included quite a few recipes and a satisfying conclusion. I definitely recommend this one.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Disclaimer: A review copy of this novel was sent to me for the purpose of reading and reviewing. I was not obligated to give a favorable review. My opinions were not swayed by the free copy. If you purchase a copy through the provided link I will receive a small percentage of the sales.