Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Walk With Jane Austen

As an Austen fan inspired by Bridget's recent reading of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith,I had to grab this off the new books shelf at the library. Lori Smith embarks of a month long trip to England and chronicles the experience from the first week at a class in Oxford to her rambling through the countryside where Jane lived or traveled. All the while Smith ponders how Jane's writings, books and letters, shed light on her own life as she ruminates over her own single status, the possibilities of a relationship with a charming man she met in Oxford, and all her foibles and desires.

I didn't notice the word Faith in the title. The idea of adventure called to me. Yet the faith (Christian) aspects interested me. She humbly examines and explains how her faith has changed and how she has uncertainties about the hows and whys of things yet she still believes. Her fairness when writing about a tough period working at a Christian non-profit that had a lot of bad office politics and difficult, disrespectful supervisors showed someone one able to tell the truth and take the high road at the same time.

I liked that Smith was sincere and fair in expressing her feelings throughout the book. She's going through a tough time, full of uncertainty and weakness. She's had health problems but doesn't know the cause (she does learn that a year later). She's worried and keeping her weaknesses at bay is a fight. Unlike say Eat, Pray, Love the story doesn't end with the expected bow. Not everything is tied up. I'll leave it at that. I think the honesty and willingness to accept difficulty and imperfection with matruity make this all the more worth reading.

An interview with Lori Smith

1 comment:

Susan said...

A lot of friends liked "Eat, Pray, Love" but as I wrote in my review, I thought Gilbert worked on sounding cute way too much.