Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
Jane, Celia and Margot Woodward's lives are shattered when their mother dies and their father's business scandal shatters their lives. Jane and Celia, the older sisters, come up with a plan to make a living near their home in San Francisco while taking care of the youngest sister to bring a sense of normalcy to their lives. However, recent events put everything they have worked so hard for in jeopardy once again. This time, the sisters decide that they just need to start over in a new location like Austin, Texas.
Jane of Austin follows the Woodward sisters as they start a new life in Austin near their cousins. With Jane's tea plants and their experience, the girls hope to open a new tea shop there. In the meantime, they make some new acquaintances in up-and-coming musician Sean Willis and former Marine Caption Callum Beckett. You'll have to read the book to find out how things work out with the sisters and these new men because I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone.
To be honest, I have never read Sense and Sensibility. I wanted to read Jane of Austin because I love tea, and from my point of view, with that in mind, it was an immensely enjoyable read. I liked all of the tea conversations, tea references and all of the tea quotes at the beginning of the chapters. I enjoyed the story-line and there was even a curve or two I didn't see coming. Jane of Austin is published by a Christian publisher but there really isn't any mention of Christianity in the book except that one character wants to become a minister. However, it is a good clean, fun story which I enjoyed as a relaxing summer read. My one complaint about this book is that there is no index for the wonderful recipes that come in the book. While I haven't yet tried any of the recipes, the Pumpkin Scones with Chai Glaze and the Texas Sheet Cake with Black Tea Glaze look especially good to me. I also like that there is a Readers's Guide with discussion questions for a book club to use. While this book is lighthearted in some ways and enjoyed the witty conversations, there are also a lot of relationship issues going on between the characters that would make for good discussion. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who enjoy tea.
I received Jane of Austin from Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
About Hillary Manton Lodge:
Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon.