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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 36 reviews
on November 15, 2012
I picked up My Dear Charlotte when it was a freebie for kindle, in part due to the positive reviews and the description that indicated that letters written by Austen were woven into the story. I found the story to be an enchanting Regency tale. Hazel Holt's writing is so similar in style to Austen's own, that it is hard to detect where Austen's own letters are tucked it. I'm sure someone who has spent more time studying Austen and regency works would find them easier to pick out. Overall, I found this to be a delightful tale, told in the style of correspondance (letters written from one sister to the other) yet complete in the story it tells.
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on January 4, 2013
I would like to have this book on my Kindle HD. When I discovered that I was not able obtain it for my Kindle, I contacted Amazon. Some research has indicated that other books by the same author and from the same publisher are available for the Kindle, and therefore it appears that possibly there is a human error in the entry of this particular book into Amazon's Kindle system. Amazon is looking into what the difficulty is, with the intent of fixing it.

Even though I'm not able to read this book on my Kindle, from what I've read from other reviews for this and other books by Ms. Holt, I'm sure this will be a good read, and will certainly deserve more than one star.

Furthermore, in my opinion, Amazon's corporate policy on helping their customers deserves 5 stars...ergo, that's what I'm giving here!

UPDATE: Whatever the glitch was, it is gone and I now have this book on my Kindle Fire HD!!
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on March 20, 2013
[***** = I loved it]

I LOVED this story! Hazel Holt seamlessly weaves quotes from Jane Austen's letters into a her epistolary story of letters from Elinor to her sister Charlotte. The plotline is the daily life of Elinor, still at home, to her beloved sister Charlotte who is out visiting. There's a mystery for Elinor to solve as well as her own prejudices to confront.

I really liked the character of Elinor. She was bright and funny and opinionated. She said what she really thought to her sister, but you could imagine her just smiling at the crowds in the public places and not letting on to her thoughts at all.

The story itself was inventive and very fun to read. I don't know enough about Jane Austen's letters to have been able to pick out the quotes with any accuracy (although I did download a free version of her letters to peruse after reading this story!), but that didn't stop this being a fun book to read. I highly recommend it.
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on March 21, 2014
Ms. Holt has not reinvented the wheel she copied our beloved Ms. Austen's. The book is laid out as a series of letters from Elinor Cowper to her sister Charlotte. It incorporates quotes from Jane Austen to her sister Charlotte as well as incorporating many characters and scenarios from various Jane Austen novels.

The tone of the letters includes those details which make Jane Austen's novels so enjoyable. Witty conversations, attention to the details of every day life, and gossip from the neighborhood.

All this being said it's an enjoyable read but predictable to those who can recognize Austen's characters in the letters.
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on June 12, 2013
This is a wonderful book. It takes a bit to get into reading a book in letter style but once you do it is so very entertaining. it is definitely laugh out loud funny in spots. I can just picture one sister really sharing all these things with another. As one other reviewer pointed out you really do forget that it's not the Austen's or some other character you are familiar with not writing it. It just reminds you of what would have been sent back and forth. And most of all who really did kill the woman every one felt was abominable any way? Fun.
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on January 5, 2014
This is obviously a romance that lacks the cutting edge of Austen's wit, but it does well with Austen's characters. Everything is wrapped up a little too neatly at the end, which is part of the genre. I'm glad she focused on a minor character that we don't know very well because there were fewer expectations.
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Reading the description of this book made me interested in reading it. Once I actually held the book in my hands and could see how it was constructed made me even more interested in reading it. I have such admiration for Hazel Holt after finishing this very unusual novel she has written. What an imagination she has, what an innovative approach to the world Jane Austen would have lived in.

First, there should be no mistake on the part of anyone investigating this book. This is not a book about Jane Austen. Instead, this is a book of fiction where portions of letters written by Jane Austen have been inserted into letters written by our letter writer, Elinor Cowper (pronounced Cooper)to her elder sister Charlotte Cowper. The additions from the Austen letters are not notated in any way so it is possible to read this entire book without being certain which portions come directly from Jane Austen. I have never read the Austen letters, but I believe I could spot some of the insertions - in some cases because they did not fit the ongoing narrative completely smoothly.

The book is made up of letters written by Elinor to her sister Charlotte who is, naturally, away from home for the entire length of the novel. They begin as descriptions of everyday common occurrences regarding family, domestic subjects, and friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood in and around Lyme. As time passes there is a death in one of the homes nearby and this turns into a mysterious happening which becomes the focus of all those within the community.

Even though the two sisters are called by different names, the similarities to the life and novels of Jane Austen are strongly represented in this novel. After a while I actually began to see these two women as Jane and Cassandra, even though I knew better. The writing style is very, very well done to remind the reader of the Austen books but the author was able to have Elinor act in ways Jane Austen did not. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Even though it moved slightly slowly to begin with because of establishing the settings and characters, by the time I was halfway through the book I was constantly telling myself that I had time to read just one more letter, then just one more letter again, and then again. There are no chapter breaks in the book, instead you will simply progress from one letter on to the next letter. As a mystery this particular vehicle of the novel written in letters did not allow for quite as much investigation as I would have liked, but it is a satisfactory mystery none the less.

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of the world and life of Jane Austen. I also think it is important to read the Introduction written by Jan Fergus because she explains the insertion of various portions of the Austen letters. Now I'm ready to find and read the Jane Austen letters. I've always known that I should read the letters, this book has made me anxious to read them.
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on June 2, 2013
I love Regency romances, am a big fan of Georgette Heyer, and Jane Austen. That said, no other authors are in that league.

This is entertaining, light fluff, just what I felt like reading. I enjoyed it tremendously. Just don't expect any depth!
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on October 19, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and the characters were multidimensional. Anyone who loves Jane Austen books is likely to enjoy this one. It combines many similar features but adds the 'mystery' element for those of us who enjoy mysteries, as well. The book was well researched, too. In all, a cut above average! Very enjoyable.
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on July 17, 2016
Not finished reading it but I just love reading anything by Hazel Holt
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