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

3.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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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.)
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“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)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1St Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062003973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062003973
  • ASIN: 0062003976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.

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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Similar to the style of Beth Pattillo and Laurie Viera Rigler, My Jane Austen Summer, debut author Cindy Jones, presents an Austen-inspired contemporary fiction novel that transports an unfortunate and lost heroine to England for an adventure and romance of her very own. Poor Lily Berry has had a recent onslaught of bad luck losing her mother, boyfriend, and job in short succession. Sustaining Lily through these trials is the comfort of Jane Austen's novels and the companionship of Jane Austen, appearing to Lily in the form of an imaginary yet silent friend. Grasping at an opportunity for a fresh start, Lily decides to travel to England and take part in a Jane Austen literature festival. Unfortunately, Lily's streak of bad luck follows her to England and Lily discovers, the hard way, that you can't run away from your life.

Working for the Jane Austen literature festival doesn't turn out quite like Lily expected. Instead of receiving a role in the Mansfield Park reenactment, Lily is given odd jobs like organizing a Jane Austen Regency Tea and labeling envelopes. Instead of connecting with other Janeites on their love for Jane Austen, Lily bunks with a sloppy non-Austen-loving roommate that steals her things. Instead of delving into Jane Austen's genius and artistry, Lily encounters directors who want to radically interpret Mansfield Park.

I took great pleasure in the little world of unique and colorful characters Cindy Jones created for My Jane Austen Summer. Besides following Lily and her story, the reader: witnesses the not-so-secret adulterous affair between directors Magda and Archie, learns about Nigel's illness and unconventional marriage with Vera, and discovers the truth about Lily's dad and the new woman in his life.
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Format: Paperback
Lily Berry is a needy, desperately unhappy dreamer who after reading "The Six" (Jane Austen's six major works) has let her affection for dear Jane run wild--reading and re-reading the novels, and chronically sabotaging her personal life by "squeezing herself into undersized romances." She finds herself at an all-time low when she is actually fired from her job for reading "Mansfield Park," when she should have been working. (One wonders out loud if her boss would have been more sympathetic if she had been reading "Pride and Prejudice?") Lily then discovers her father has been having an affair for years, and the recent death of her mother seems to free him to marry this Sue person. Not until her ex-boyfriend humiliatingly confronts her while she is stalking him, does she see the urgency in jettisoning from her present miserable life and escape to the past for "one magical summer spent re-enacting Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park.'" So, she sells off all her possessions, buys a plane ticket to Great Britain, and begs an acting role in a summer literary festival.

Lily is debut author Cindy Jones' endearingly flawed heroine of "My Jane Austen Summer: A Season of Mansfield Park." Once she lands in England, her Jane Austen manifestation (repeatedly referred to as My Jane Austen) becomes more dominant, never speaking out loud (well, except for that one time when Lily performed her one-woman show entitled "The Lost Letters of Jane Austen" and dear Jane hijacks Lily's person, incensing the entire audience with her tongue- which we all know is sharp as a guillotine!), but always listening, constantly making lists, taking notes and raising an eyebrow to Lily's antics. Lily explains her imaginary friend by confessing, "Everyone who has read The Six... believes they know Jane Austen personally.
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