This is one of those reviews that is hard to write. I loved this book. I am an Austen fangirl, and I don't mind all the take-offs, in fact I enjoy them. This was not a funny story, but I felt like I was there with Ellie, the heroine, through all her romantic trials and tribulations.
The story begins with Ellie taking us back to where it all began, in her high school English class where her classmate Sam is sitting behind her trying to get her attention and the teacher passes out Pride and Prejudice for the class to read. Ellie hears a tsk-ing noise and can't figure out where it's coming from until she realizes it's inside her head, and it's Jane Austen.
From there, we learn about Ellie's life (at the time of the story she's 34) through her memories of previous boyfriends, all interspersed with Jane's wit and insight. Some of the boyfriends are spectacularly bad, and some are just bad timing. I was captivated watching Ellie grow up and to see her relationships change as she matured, as well as watch the secondary characters change throughout the years as well. We see Sam several times and it's interesting to see the path his life takes while Ellie is off living her life.
I married my high-school sweetheart, so you would think I would not be able to connect with a 34-year-old unmarried heroine who goes back and forth between being afraid of being alone forever and content with her life as it is, but I did. It was about her relationships with men, but it was also her relationships with her family and friends as well. Her conversations with Jane were wonderfully written. Over and over I found myself smiling.
I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.