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Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine's Guide to Life and Love    by Patrice Hannon order for
Dear Jane Austen
by Patrice Hannon
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

'Dear Jane Austen,
My love life is the pits. Everyone says I'm pretty and nice and smart but I can't hold on to a boyfriend ... What do your heroines know that I don't? How can I be perfect the way they are?
Hating Myself

Excerpts such as these dot the pages of Patrice Hannon's clever book, Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine's Guide to Life and Love. Hannon's book offers up a Dear Abby advice column of sorts, with author Jane Austen providing tips to would-be heroines. For two centuries women have looked to Austen's female characters as models of appropriate behavior and wisdom. Their ability to win handsome men with their sparkling wit and intelligence has intrigued readers throughout the years. Who among Austenites could not wonder how to be more like Elizabeth Bennet in order to capture their own Mr. Darcy?

Hannon's book is based on the premise what if, as Austen shares her advice for acting the role of the heroine. She informs readers of the proper rules to live by, in order to play the role of the true heroine. Austen illustrates her advice through examples from her novels. As she dispenses advice, readers enter the world of Jane Austen's drawing room as she greets friends and family, who also add their two cents to Austen's musings. Through her witty and wise suggestions, Austen helps such advice seekers as Plain Jane, Sex-Starved and Hungry, Satisfied Single, and others.

Patrice Hannon's deft ability to weave events from Austen's life into the advice Austen offers is impressive. She captures Austen's tone and personality as she gives Janeites everywhere the taste of sitting down and chatting with a beloved author over a cup of tea and a plate of warm scones.

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