Published by HarperCollinsUK on June 16, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Linda Corbett’s new novel What Would Jane Austen Do? follows Maddy Shaw, a young journalist and Jane Austen fangirl who has been writing an advice column for a national paper. When we first meet Maddy, she has just been told her column is cancelled and that she’ll have to find work elsewhere. Maddy can barely make ends meet as it is so she knows she’s going to have to leave London to find more affordable housing. Before leaving London, Maddy attends one final interview and it’s here that she meets a famous crime writer who is the grumpiest, most cynical person she has ever encountered. He also has a very negative opinion about romance novels, which Maddy just isn’t having, and the two of them passionately debate the subject. I fell in love with Maddy during that encounter. Her passionate defense of the romance genre was so moving and I agreed with every word she said.
Maddy’s life takes another unexpected turn and it is this turn that drives the plot of the novel. She inherits a huge house in the English countryside from a cousin she never really knew. While Maddy would love to sell the house and get some much needed cash, the will stipulates that she must live in the house for twelve months first. Reluctantly, Maddy moves into her new home, having no idea how truly life changing the entire experience will be.
I had such a fun time reading this book! The village where Maddy has relocated is full of quirky, literature- loving neighbors who are committed to carrying on the literary festival that Maddy’s cousin had hosted for years. Another stipulation of the will that no one told Maddy about was that she would follow in her cousin’s footsteps and plan the whole festival. Not only that, but when they hear she could really use a lodger to help with her financial situation, they find her a roommate, who of course turns out to be none other than her least favorite grumpy crime writer, whose name is Luke, and his adorable dog, Buster. Needless to say, there are plenty of laughs and shenanigans as Maddy awkwardly tries to navigate both the planning of the festival and how to live peacefully with Luke.
I will also say that while this is a romance, it is most definitely a slow burn one. Both characters are so well developed though that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, and I also enjoyed watching the dynamic between them shift as they got to know one another. That slow burn was worth the wait!
What Would Jane Austen Do? is a fun and heartwarming contemporary romance. It also pays homage to all things Jane Austen, which is sure to delight any Austen fan. This book isn’t just for Austen fans though so no worries if you haven’t read her entire canon.
Thanks so much to Laurel Ann Nattress at Austenprose for inviting me to take part in this tour.
PRAISE FOR WHAT WOULD JANE AUSTEN DO?
- “Witty, sharp and beautifully observed – I feel sure Jane would approve.”— Julie Caplin, author of The French Chateau
- “Sparkling romance, secrets from the past…Witty and romantic, I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.”— Alison Sherlock, bestselling author of The Village of Lost and Found
- “…sheer fun from beginning to end, beautifully written, and with a real touch of originality.”— Anne Williams, Being Anne
- “What a lovely book! It also fills my need to see British colloquialisms on occasion. Yes! I highly recommend this book!”— Michelle, Tales Untangled