Like most female English majors, I absolutely love Jane Austen. So when I saw the title of William Deresiewicz's new work A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter , I couldn't not read this book.
While there are many books related to Jane Austen and her characters, what makes this book stand out is that William Deresiewicz has not always been an Austen fan. As he explains in his book, he first found himself unwilling to read Austen, thinking that her books had nothing to offer him. However, once he realized that her books are not simply chick lit, he found that Austen speaks to a much wider audience than he had imagined.
Since I am an Austen fan and have read all of her novels, I completely enjoyed reading about the lessons that Deresiewicz finds in her novels. I have my favorite Austen novels, but Deresiewicz offered perspectives that made me think more about some of the novels I didn't enjoy so much. After having read this book, I now want to go back and read Austen's novels again.
I would definitely recommend this book for any Jane Austen fan, but I wouldn't limit this recommendation simply to those who have read all of her novels. I think that most people would enjoy the style of the book and the way that Deresiewicz places his own narrative in with Austen's plots.
Of course, if you've never read any Jane Austen, I'd encourage you to read some first. I'd suggest starting with Pride and Prejudice or Emma since those are often regarded as her best works.
I'd like to know - do you have a favorite Jane Austen novel?