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My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park Paperback – March 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062003973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062003973
  • ASIN: 0062003976
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A down on her luck woman goes on an Austen-inspired journey of self-discovery in Jones's middling debut. After Lily Berry loses her mother, gets dumped by her boyfriend, and is fired, she finds in her passion for all things Jane Austen (Jane, indeed, is Lily's imaginary friend) an escape route: she travels to England to participate in a Jane Austen re-enacting festival. Full of enthusiasm—but not acting talent—Lily is not embraced by many of the Janeites, but this doesn't prevent her from meeting a charismatic actor, contending with an impossible roommate, and struggling with dark family secrets, all while trying to find the courage to be the protagonist of her own story. While Jones does a credible job of creating a heroine in transition, Lily's process of self-realization isn't nearly as involving as the subplots, which is quite unfortunate, considering how much time is devoted to sussing out her issues. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

“Austen lovers everywhere will delight in Lily’s summer adventure and wish Cindy Jones had cast them in a role, too, so they could play a part in this whimsical literary treat.” (Marilyn Brant)

“An invitation to get lost in Austen all over again. Janeites will have great fun watching how Cindy Jones cleverly interweaves a very modern romance with the characters, themes, and scenes of Austen’s masterpiece” (Lynn Shepherd, author of Murder at Mansfield Park)

“A delightful story that takes us for a romp through the English countryside and into the wonderful world of Jane Austen. You can’t help but root for Lily Berry, a refreshingly real heroine as she searches for herself in a novel and finds something quite unexpected.” (Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Author of Secret Daughter)

“An indulgent escape for anybody who has ever wished they could live in an Austen novel...poignant, funny, and as sharply observant of human foibles as the great Jane herself.” (Stephanie Barron,,Author of the Jane Austen Mystery Series)

“Austen lovers and romantics won’t have had this much fun since Bridget Jones’s Diary.” (dolcedolce.com)

“Jones’ Austenish charm dances through each chapter, causing you fall in love with Lily right from the first few pages while empathizing with the ever complicated issues of her life.” (Marie Claire)

“This is an amazing debut for Cindy Jones...My Jane Austen Summer is worth every word on the page; I suggest you pick up a copy because you will love it.” (Bookreporter.com)

“Whether you are a Jane Austen super fan or a hopeless romantic, Cindy Jones’ debut novel will sweep you off your feet.” (She Knows)

“My Jane Austen Summer” is packed with rich plot, detailed characters and elaborate settings…a literary feast for Austen fans.” (Deseret News)

More About the Author

Cindy Jones was born in Ohio and grew up in small mid-western towns, reading for escape. She dreamed of living in a novel and wrote her first book in fifth grade. A business career, husband, and four sons later, she completed MY JANE AUSTEN SUMMER: A SEASON IN MANSFIELD PARK. She lives with her family in Dallas where she has discovered that, through writing, it is entirely possible to live in a novel for a good part of each day. Visit Cindy at her website: www.cindysjones.com

Customer Reviews

Sadly, the ending of the book felt very much like a letdown for me and I was disappointed with it.
Lori Johnston
The author did a fantastic job creating the charming setting Newton Priors and the delightfully quirky characters for this story.
Book Mama
Whether you're a Jane Austen fan, new or old, or simply want a fun, fast, engaging read, then I highly recommend this book.
Molly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Newell VINE VOICE on March 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit that as a very longstanding Jane Austen fan, I love Jane Austen fan fiction, even if some of it can be a bit much. But Cindy Jones' "My Jane Austen Summer" is a very special book. To be sure, it's fan fiction of a sort, and it's intended to appeal to Jane's fans (you'll have a little trouble with it if you haven't read "Mansfield Park"), but it's a fine and moving novel in its own right and goes far beyond mere fan fiction.

In fact, Ms. Jones has been able to recreate some of the subtle irony for which Jane is famed. And that is quite an accomplishment.

The story is something of a coming-of-age story for the heroine, something that Jane herself dealt with in her own works. But this is a modern girl from Dallas--- we should say modern but with some of the old-fashioned sensibilities. Our heroine, if she hasn't exactly made a mess of her life, hasn't done very well. She's lost her job and she's lost her boyfriend, and decides to sell everything and go to England for the summer, to take part in a Jane Austen festival called "Literature Live."

But she's no actress and has to struggle to find a place in the festival. She eventually does, and finds romance--- of a certain sort--- along the way. It is here that the subtle ironies begin to appear in earnest. I won't spoil the story but suffice it to say there is a parallel plot line about her father and his own misadventures.

As the book unfolds, we see and are both horrified and amused by the protagonist's desperate and needy behavior ... but we also see her grow and change, and in the final scenes, we see with happiness her new-found maturity and self-confidence. The ending is truly moving; perhaps not what we expect or want, but moving and compelling none the less.

Ms.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan M. Heim VINE VOICE on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lily has a lot of problems. Her boyfriend dumps her, she loses her job, her mother dies, and her father is carrying on with a woman Lily dislikes. Lily decides to escape her problems by joining a Jane Austen literary festival in England. But, as her former boyfriend noted, Lily is "needy" and continues to mess up her life overseas. This novel is about Lily's journey to maturity. Slowly, she learns to stop looking to others for happiness and finds fulfillment in being true to herself. I liked that this book has a realistic ending, rather than the typical woman-finds-her-true-love ending of many chick lit books. Lily learns from her mistakes and inspires readers, especially young women, to do the same.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on April 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
More events couldn't go wrong for Lily Berry, whose dud of a boyfriend dumps her, her mom dies, and her dad is engaged. It's time to escape from her emotional rollercoaster of rough times.

Her bookish friend, Vera, invites her to a Jane Austen literary festival in England. This is Lily's chance to be around like-minded literary folks who will accept her. What could be better than practically living in a Jane Austen novel? It's the perfect solution for putting the puzzle pieces of her past and future into place.

Once in England, Lily sets about on her road to change. She meets an interesting cast of Janeites, fans of Jane Austen in period costume, and an engaging cast of actors for the festival, which she immediately gets involved in. An actor named Sixby asks her to do a one-act play with him at the follies. Later that day, English teacher Omar takes her on a tour of the house and grounds for the festival. He warns her to steer clear of Magda, a domineering woman who can smell fear, then chew you up and spit you out. No sooner does she hear this than sure enough she gets on Magda's bad side. A miffed Magda nixes Lily from acting in the festival by saying it only uses professional actors. Unlike living in a novel, poor Lily's real life still has problems.

Her trials and tribulations don't stop her. Along the way, she finds something she needs ---love. Like many period romance novels, she discovers him in the attic! Willis is studying the ministry and writing a vampire novel. While an unusual mix of a person, he shares Lily's intellectual curiosity, which is what initially connects them. It's a relationship with romance, bumps and twists.

The new Lily isn't a wallflower, and her determination to change her life for the better keeps her grounded.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Molly on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I absolutely adored this charming novel! I still have yet to read an actual Jane Austen novel, but LOVE these books that include her like this along with her characters. Cindy Jones' writing and creation of this unique novel is great and captivating. It was full of characters there were both likable and, of course, some that were not so likable. But, all together, this plot line was quirky and engaging!

Now, I'll admit. The first chapter of Lily's story, and her stalking her ex boyfriend, well, it was a little slow for me. But, it definitely picked up in chapter 2, as Lily had to start coming face to face with her troubles and accept them to over come them. Running away from your troubles is sometimes the best way to take them full on! The book flew by for me and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Mansfield Park, Lily, Fanny Price and all the other AMAZING characters the Cindy Jones wove into the story. I loved being able to travel to England with Lily and become a part of Mansfield Park for just a little while. I felt a true part of the story and love it when that happens! Lily's aspiration to take the stage during Mansfield Park at LitFest was both addictive, and charming!

I know that if I had read Jane Austen's actual novel, Mansfield Park, I would have known more about some of the characters that were portrayed in My Jane Austen Summer, but, honestly, I believe I would have enjoyed it no matter what. The feeling of England and tender characters, and facing your troubles no matter what they are, is just awesome!

Whether you're a Jane Austen fan, new or old, or simply want a fun, fast, engaging read, then I highly recommend this book. Four stars and two thumbs up to an author who has amazing talent and allows her readers to travel with her characters and feel apart of Jane Austen's era through this sweet, quirky, enjoyable read!

*This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review*
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