Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sophia Rose Reviews - Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge

Once again Sophia Rose takes the reins on The Reading Frenzy and brings us her review of Jane of Austin, nice play on words Sophia Rose can't wait to find out more about it.

Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge
Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  WaterBrook
Published:  6.13.17
Pages:  320
Format: eARC
Source:  Net Galley
Sellers:  Amazon - Barnes& Noble -  Kobo

GoodReads Blurb:

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.

Sophia's Review:

When their father embezzles and has to leave the country, three sisters determine to move on with their life enduring the bad reputation he left them, the loss of their tea shop's home in San Francisco, a move to Austin, Texas, and life's disappointments.  But they have each other and that's what counts.

I adored this contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's classic Sense & Sensibility that tells the story of the love and losses of three sisters.  It grasps the spirit and essentials of the classic while telling a modern story about a large colorful and engaging cast of characters.  Jane of Austin splits its narrative with Jane and Callum taking turns telling their separate stories and how the two stories merged.  The focus is also split between the story of family and romance.

Jane is the middle sister.  Between past losses of a mother's early death, a dad's desertion, and her own strong nature, eccentric love for tea and music, she is not good with people, but against the odds she believes and gives love a chance.  She spends much of this book growing because she is faced with love and loss, struggles with change, and struggles to understand even those she loves the most.  I cheered her on as she came into her own.

Callum is a little older and a war-weary veteran Marine with survivor's guilt.  He was something of a lone wolf because his dad favored his older brother and his older brother shut him out while betraying Callum's first love.  He is just such a beautiful generous, quiet hero-type as he picks up the pieces of his life and attempts to carry on learning that family is not always the one you are born into.  He falls for Jane and unselfishly bows out because he sees her interest in someone else, but he protects her and the others anyway.  And his Great Dane, just ahhhh, loved seeing this retired service dog find a home, too.

The emphasis on the sisters' relationships as they figure out life was a nice extra layer to the contemporary romance.  Celia breaks up with a boyfriend and quietly struggles even while working to reset her life in Austin, Margot is a senior in high school and must adjust from the move from San Francisco to Austin, and then Jane who wonders if they will ever find home and keep their sisterly closeness.

The writing was lovely and I enjoyed getting all those song references and the recipes at the end of each chapter.  Foodies and tea aficionados will find this book satisfying.

All in all, it was a sumptuous and engaging, gentle and sweet story of love, life and family.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio:
HILLARY MANTON LODGE is the author of Together at the Table, Reservations For Two, A Table By the Window, Plain Jayne, and Simply Sara. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate Magazine. Her next novel, Jane of Austin, will release June 13, 2017, from WaterBrook Multnomah 

Over the years, Hillary's novels have enjoyed critical success from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romantic Times and have reached readers around the world. In 2010, Plain Jayne was nominated as a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara was an ECPA Bestselling book. In 2015,
A Table by the Window was shortlisted in the INSPY Awards.

In her free time, Hillary often finds herself experimenting in the kitchen, attending indie concerts, and finding new walking trails. Formerly a resident of the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband now live near Memphis, Tennessee, along with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiloh and Sylvie.

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. This looks interesting. And of course Austen! It looks like you accidently posted Goodreads Blurb twice instead of Sophia's review.

    1. Oh whoops! I didn't even realize. Good catch, Kimberly.

      It was a neat one. I was so hungry for all the food from their business and from the family gatherings. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Me, too! I'm glad to find those that are about her other books rather than just P&P, too.

  3. Oh fun on the food inclusions. Sounds like a good time :)

    1. It definitely was. The characters and their situations were my favorite part along with all the delicious food. :)