Book title: Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen [+]
Author: Fay Weldon
Posted February 06, 2002
This book has so much going for it. It is an excellent introduction to Jane Austen, a defense of classic literature and an examination of various writing styles. Toss in a bit of family drama to give it some tension, and this book is great fun.
The premise is that Weldon's niece has just enrolled in college and is taking an English Literature class. She writes to Fay asking for advice about the class, since Fay is a writer and also studied English Lit at one time. The reader only sees Fay's letters, but there is enough about Alice and her mother (Fay's sister) to keep that part of the story interesting. But the real gems in this book lie in the intellectual themes. I read this book before ever reading Jane Austen, and I found it is useful introduction to Austen's work. I also gained some real insight into why literature matters. The book is just wonderful.
[note: I read this about 10 days ago, but didn't post anything about it as I was otherwise occupied.]
This is my notebook, my musings about what I've read lately. For more about why this site exists, please see the about page.
Key to symbols
* library book
Mysteries & Thrillers
Arts & Crafts
In The Shadow of No Towers [+]*
The Girl Who Played Go [+]*
The Salt Roads [+]*
If Chins Could Kill [+]*
Secret Soldiers [+]*
Caveat Lector: This website documents my own reading adventure. I am the only reviewer and book selection is guided by my own tastes and interests. You may or may not agree with my opinions -- that's what makes the world an interesting place.