Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Cassandra's Sister - Veronica Bennett

Cassandra's Sister by Veronica Bennett
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on August 14, 2007
Published by Candlewick
Pages: 230
Read From: 10.15.12 - 10.18.12

Young Jane - or Jenny, as she is called - is a girl with a head full of questions that no one seems able to answer. Surrounded by her busy parents and brothers, Jenny finds a place for her thoughts in the steady companionship of her older sister, Cassandra. Jenny's country life is a series of balls and visits, where conversation centers on one topic: marriage. But the arrival of her worldly-wise cousin Eliza disrupts everything, bringing answers to some of Jenny's questions and providing a gem of an idea.


Cover Blurb: I like its classiness, and being a person who is drawn to classy stories, the cover did a good job of catching my attention.

What I Liked: I like how the Author portrayed Jane and Cassandra’s close relationship, and I absolutely adored Tom Lefroy; it made me so sad knowing how things turned out between him and Jane! I felt Cassandra’s pain when she received the letter about her fiancé, and I loved all of the real-life parallels for Jane’s novels.

What I Disliked: I didn’t get much of a sense of the closeness between Jane and her brother Henry, who was Jane’s favorite brother. And though I understood the purpose behind calling Jane “Jenny,” I personally found that it made it difficult to think of her as the Jane Austen. This probably won’t bother other people; this is just a personal preference complaint, and it makes sense that Jane probably had a nickname when she was younger.

Believability: The Author brings Jane Austen’s world to life with superb historical detail and dialogue. I have nothing to complain about in this area. She allowed her imagination to fill in a lot of holes in Jane Austen’s life, and she filled them in believable ways.

Writing Style: As noted above, the dialogue is very good, and the Author has pleasing descriptions, and her writing flowed very nicely. However, I felt that her portrayal of Jane Austen herself was lacking, compared to other Authors’ portrayals. In I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend, Cora Harrison displayed Jane’s snappy humor and easy wit at every chance she got, and it painted a very believable picture of a young Jane Austen. Veronica Bennett’s Jane Austen doesn’t have that ready sarcasm which I, personally, believe Jane possessed not only in her writing, but in her personal life as well.

Content: None.

Conclusion: If you know anything about Jane Austen’s romantic pursuits, you’ll know that this story has a predictably bittersweet ending. Despite the fact that I felt this Jane Austen was lacking in areas, I did really enjoy the story. It was well-written, an interesting look into what Jane’s life might have been like, and equal parts funny and tragic.

Recommended Audience: Historical fiction fans, Austeneers, girl-read, any age.

Overall Rating: 

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