Review: Dear Jane
The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane recounts events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma; the formative childhood years of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.
Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. Readers of Emma will be familiar with the conclusion of Jane and Frank’s story, but Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over its remainder.
*sob* I'm so sad to see this trilogy end. This series of books has been a welcome addition to one of my favorite Jane Austen books. Ms. Cresswell has done a beautiful job maintaining the tone of Jane Austen while integrating her original work that fleshes out the relationship between Frank and Jane before their hidden relationship rocks Emma's world.
Frank is a well-drawn character in the novel, Emma, so I was curious how Ms. Cresswell would do with the character. I was so glad that Frank's charm carried through into the grander scope of this novel. Jane is a somewhat-hidden character in Emma. Emma is jealous of her, so we only see her through the eyes of an untrustworthy observer. Ms. Cresswell fleshed out Jane and made her a worthy match for the beloved Frank.
Fans of JaneAusten's Emma will love this addition to the lexicon. I give it all my stars of approval.
Author Bio –
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
Dear Jane is her ninth novel.
Social Media Links – www.allie-cresswell.com