Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My share in the conversation...Young Jane Austen

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day. Mine was rather eventful. I spent part of it in my 'safe place' since a tornado or cloud with rotation was spotted overhead. The emergency alarm went off on my phone and the weather person on tv warned us to take cover immediately. My 'safe place' is a coat closet. Believe me, it is not made for me, a Yorkie and a Border Collie to sit in for any length of time, but we did just the same. My babies went into the closet with no problem and behaved remarkably well, staying still throughout. (I was surprised, to say the least) We remained in this lovely space in the dark, except for my phone's light, for over thirty minutes. After I managed to unfold and crawl out, my body did not behave remarkably well! It complained about those cramped quarters! :) The rest of the afternoon was filled with more phone emergency alerts, winds, torrential rains and numerous weather warnings. Much of the area is still under a flood warning with the possibility of more storms to come in the next few days. The good news is that my family is safe and we are thankful. It was definitely a Memorial Day to remember.

I had planned on posting my review Monday but due to the weather, I kept a vigil on the storm in progress. I am a day late but my thoughts are below! Anyone that leaves a comment on this review will be included in the giveaway of a trade paperback that was mentioned in the post, 'Creating the Dressing Room Illustration', by Lisa Pliscou. Since I am a day later posting my review, I will extend the giveaway by one day, ending it at 11:59 P.M., Tuesday, May 27, 2015. Again, please leave your email address so that you may be entered in the giveaway. Leaving a comment here and at Lisa's post will double your chances of winning this lovely book. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my 'share in the conversation'. Good luck to all.

Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer by Lisa Pliscou

This narrative gives the reader a glimpse into the first twelve years of the life of Jane Austen.  As the author, Lisa Pliscou states, it is a ‘speculative biography’. Ms. Pliscou reconstructs Jane Austen’s youth in an attempt to show how her world, the time and place, influenced her to become a writer that has stood the test of time.

Young Jane Austen is in full color from beginning to end and is a virtual feast for the eyes. The narrative is divided into three sections and each section has its own color/style and background. It is absolutely lovely and a delight to read.

Section one is entitled ‘Young Jane Austen’ and has twenty entries with twenty illustrations, by Massimo Mongiardo, commissioned especially for this book. Each short chapter is written as if a young Jane is thinking about the events that are taking place with her family and gives insights into her thoughts. Some even appear as if they are journal entries from young Jane. I enjoyed this approach as it brought feeling and truth to the narrative. The choice of printing and color adds its own nuance. Each entry or chapter is printed on paper that looks like an old manuscript or journal with a lovely blue print behind the journal.

The second part is the annotated version of Young Jane Austen. This section gives some interesting information and facts related to things mentioned in the narrative. This was one of my favorite parts as it elaborated on certain events and happenings. (This section is printed on light blue and is easy on the eyes.)

The third and last section is ‘About Jane Austen’. It answers the question, “What was she like?” There is a chapter about Jane Austen, the author. It gives a little more history and insight into her specific writings. A timeline for those first twelve years is included. The sources used to gather the thoughts and facts stated throughout the book are listed here as well as a complete index.  

Young Jane Austen is an easy and enchanting read. It is obvious that much research went into the writing of this biography. The book is unique in both approach and appearance. Anyone that is devoted to Jane Austen would be delighted to own this book. It is truly a treasure.


  1. Even though Memorial Day was very eventful, I am so glad that all are safe. The book sounds so delightful! I would love to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Thank you, Eva. The book is delightful. Good luck in the giveaway.

  2. I'm glad you're okay. Stay safe! This book sounds so intrguing. Thank you for suggesting my adding it to my Goodreads list. No matter what I will acquire this as a paperback. Thank you for the generous give away. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Thankfully, the weather is a little calmer for now. Thank you for your concern.

      The book is definitely one to own in paperback. It is lovely. I hope you have a chance to read it and 'have' it.

  3. Wowsers! Glad you made it through the storms okay. That is impressive how your dogs stayed still.

    I really loved this gorgeous book and its contents too. My favorite part was the annotated section, but the others were good, too.

    Please do not enter me in the giveaway.

    1. Me too, Sophia! It was quite a day and I was so proud of my furry babies. They did good.

      I am glad you stopped by and commented on the book. Isn't it a lovely book?! I have never seen one quite like it. The Annotated Section is my favorite as well, but like you, the rest was very good too. Lisa Pliscou did a fine job! :)

  4. How horrifying! Terrifying too! I'm afraid of tornadoes and lightning.

    You are right about this book. It is a delight from cover to cover and should be in every Jane Austen fan's library it is that well done.