"A Walk with Jane Austen" by Lori Smith had been on my "to read wish list" for several months. I heard about the book from one of my favorite blogs http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com
The book is a personal journey of a young woman (the author herself) as she embarks on a trip to England to visit the places of Jane Austen. I have to admit, and I apologize, but I was not sure when I first started reading this book if I was going to enjoy reading it. My reasons were her insecurities and rawness of emotions were making me uncomfortable. A wonderful thing happened, she became my friend while I read her book. I guess that sounds strange, I don't know her, but I can relate to some of her anxieties, insecurities, concerns, and belief's. I believe that she and I would have great conversations over a "good" cup of coffee. The journey that the author Lori Smith takes is not just a journey to England to see the places of Jane Austen, it is also a journey for her own personal appraisal of her life. She is 33 and single, no boyfriend, and in poor health with no accurate diagnosis as of yet. In her travel to England there is a distance to her life back at home, that gives her the ability to ponder on her life. Lori when visiting the various places of Jane Austen contemplates Jane herself: what did she look like, what were the depths of her spiritual life, her love interests, and the fact that Jane did not marry. Lori reflects on life and culture in Jane Austen's time, and compares it to life and culture now. My favorite quote from the book is so true of me and probably most women;
"I am a strange mix of incredible inner strength and great insecurity, of a desire to laugh and an intense and often overly serious view of the world, of occasional bravery and great, awkward shyness."
A great author has the ability to draw the reader in, Lori did an outstanding job! Thank you.