There are books that change our lives dramatically when we happen to find them. They become a treasure we guard jealously so that we can resort on them when we find ourselves in need.
Sophie Andrews found her treasure book very early in life. She was nine when her mother sat her down to watch a new movie, the 2005 adaptation of Pride ad Prejudice. Little did either of them realize then how meaningful Jane Austen would be in Sophie’s life. A few years later, aged 16 she would start a blog, Laughing with Lizzie, after studying Jane Austen’s novel at school.
Since that moment she has become a very active, enthusiastic and creative Janeite: she organizes events such as picnics, balls and house parties for other Austenites and she was even featured in the BBC documentary, My Friend Jane, which focused on the fun and friendship she has found with fellow Janeites.
Now Sophie owns 100 different editions of Pride and Prejudice and has just released her first Austen-inpired book, Be More Jane, with which she tries to help us bring out our inner Austen to meet our lives’ challenges.
This book is first of all an object of beauty, especially so thanks to the lovely illustrations by Jane Odiwe . Then it is a precious handbook in which Sophie searches and finds significative connections between Jane Austen’s work and real life. What can we learn from such a beloved writer which can be helpful in our every day predicaments?
As the book blurb promises, Be More Jane will teach us to address life with more sense and less prejudice, taking useful lessons from the novels and letters of Jane Austen. Because times may change, but many of our problems remain just the same.
We all know, dear Janeite friends, that in times of trouble Austen’s beloved novels indeed are a safe shelter and we can also acknowledge that on matters of love, family and friendship we have all found answers in those pages and in the world they narrate. How many times has dear Jane saved our day?
So leafing through the pages of Sophie’s Be More Jane, you’ll find wise advice on love and the matters of the heart, on appearance and self-belief, on jealousy and true frienship, on marriage and happiness, on the role of women and integrity, how to keep safe and in good health, and much more.
Are you more Marianne than Elinor, Lydia rather than Lizzy? You’ll find good tips and a lot to learn, directly from Jane Austen’s Regency world.
I particularly appreciated the tips on patience, because, you know, I’ve always been more like Anne Elliott than Lydia or Marianne!
Trust that patience will pay off, however doubtful it might seem at times.
Stay positive and hopeful – it is never too late to find the one for you.
The right one is worth waiting for – although hopefully not for eight years, like Anne Elliot!
In her first book Sophie gives voice to some of her favourite characters, such as Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins, who give us the benefit of their wisdom in amusing vignettes.
This cute little book must be in your collection of treasurable Austenesque items. You will be reminded of the many reasons why you fell in love with Jane Austen and her work. There is so much to learn from her!
You can learn the importance of being yourself and the danger of allowing others to influence you unduly, understand when to wait for love and how to recognize it when it comes, take tips from Lizzy Bennet on finding the fun in life and not relying on first impressions, follow Jane’s examples by being a loyal sister, friend and daughter.
The giveaway is open to US, Canada & European readers.
Contact Links for Sophie Andrews
Buy Links for Be More Jane