I loved it ! I was so pleased to hear there was another in the series, having enjoyed the first two. You know what it's like when you find an author whose work you really really like ? Well that was exactly my experience. If you haven't read the first two, get them, and Dear Jane and settle down for a gorgeous reading session. You will find great storylines, lovely characters, beautifully crafted dialogue and just enough period detail to whisk you back to gentler times. Highly recommended.
How lovely to be back again in society with such well loved characters! Emma’s rightful position is, of course, at the forefront of any social occasion, the top of anyone’s invitation and the initial call when an opinion is needed. But, much as I love her, to allow her to be moved off centre to bring forward her supporting cast is a clever and intriguing idea. It makes for a very enjoyable read indeed.
Allie Cresswell imitates Jane Austen’s distant voice well. There is humour, empathy, comment and style. The characters are ‘borrowed’ but fleshed out by a new imagination and given a credible storyline carefully woven around the original.
‘Dear Jane’ is the third in the Highbury series from Ms Cresswell and although not strictly necessary to read all three in order, I recommend that you do. Totes worth it! I mean... prestigious!
I wanted to contact the author directly about Dear Jane. I’ve never been moved to do this before, but this book was so superbly written, answered so many questions about the back story of some of the Emma characters, I just had to praise her. So, Alice, if you read this please know that I couldn’t put this book down, I love it, I’m a little sad that it’s finished!
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, despite not being greatly familiar with Jane Austen’s “Emma”, which provides the inspiration for this intriguing novel and its Highbury trilogy partners “Mrs Bates of Highbury” and “The Other Miss Bates”. “Dear Jane” convincingly tells the backstory of the minor “Emma” character, her contemporary Jane Fairfax, and her relationships with other characters. This complex task is skilfully undertaken by Allie Cresswell, who successfully combines convincing language, her usual rich description and complex character development. The plot is humourous and engaging, enhanced by the use of letters between characters, alongside the narrative. The careful cross-referencing of materials by Cresswell is an interesting inclusion. Overall an impressive, creative and engaging novel which I thoroughly recommend to Austen fans and novices alike.
I have loved every moment of reading Dear Jane. Truly it is 'your book', Allie, but it captures Jane Austen's world beautifully. The delightful mannerisms but outrageous behaviour fit the characters precisely. And a sneaky ending!
I had been looking forward to reading the final instalment of the Highbury Trilogy, and now I have I do feel a little sad that it is over.
The Trilogy started with Mrs. Bates of Highbury, followed by The Other Mrs. Bates and finally ending with Dear Jane. Each story has takes on a main character and explores their family, friends and acquaintances. Dear Jane focuses on Jane Fairfax, she had a minor role in Emma and Allie Cresswell has made her into the major role, and I will add she has done it superbly.
Jane is taken in by the Campbells and is treated like a daughter with all the privileges that come with one whom lives within a certain class in society. Jane is to be a companion to the Campbell’s daughter Rowenna. Jane’s life is mapped out for her and she is well aware that at some point in the future she will have to make her own way in the world.
I absolutely loved this story, well let me be honest I have loved the whole trilogy. The author has captured the tone and writing style I like when I read the older classic lit books. I love to read about the “ladies”, I say ladies but often they are very far from lady-like with their barbed comments. there are several of these comments within the book as even though some see Jane as an equal, not everyone does.
Dear Jane is told over several years and follows Jane and Rowenna, I have to say that Jane has the patience of a saint as she coaxes Rowenna. But actually even though Rowenna was a bit of a pain, I also really liked her and got to understand her shyness and insecurities.
With society and the standing within society being so important with those in the upper echelons there is a focus on marriage, or rather how much will be brought into a marriage, both on a monetary and also positional platform. Marriage is a business deal rather than one of love, though there is love. Who falls in love and with whom is something I will let you discover for yourselves!
Romance, courtship and falling breathlessly and hopelessly in love is in equal measure with many a furtive glance, stifled giggles and the occasional swoon. Though things often appear to be simple it is not always the case. For some the road to marriage and love appears straightforward but those behind the scenes may have had a hand to stay the route, keeping the recipients unawares.
The story just oozes that old classic literature style. The mannerisms, dress and fashion, conversation style, society and etiquette all feel so right. Mix into this a storyline that has uncertainties, heartbreak, hope and trouble and that was me hooked and avidly reading.
I would say you could read each as a stand-alone, but you know what… Just go and get the whole trilogy and then just sit down, put your feet up and just relax and read.
This book, well, the whole trilogy gets a Highly Recommended from me.
I have been really looking forward to the final part in this Highbury trilogy, following the characters we know from Jane Austen’s Emma, set before the well loved novel begins. This book takes a closer look at Jane Fairfax and the story overlaps with the familiar story of Emma itself.
In this book we see once again the social circling as many of the characters attempt to find an appropriate marriage partner. Appropriate meaning in terms of status, wealth, charm and accomplishments. Love rarely, if ever, is taken into account for most of the people who inhabit this book. If love grows after the match, then that is considered serendipitous.
The focus on this book is firmly on Jane Fairfax. Jane and Rowena Campbell are the greatest of friends. Rowena is the daughter and therefore true heir of the Campbells whereas Jane, although brought up almost as her sister, is only their ward. Rowena is less accomplished than Jane, less beautiful, more socially awkward and feels very aware of this. The girls have always been the close confidantes but now as potential suitors appear on the scene, there is the beginning of a gentle rivalry between them.
As the book progresses, parts of the story overlap with Jane Austen’s Emma and we read about familiar scenes from a different character’s perspective. I enjoyed reading all the footnotes which explained how the story ties in with Emma and that is something which has been a delight about all these books. They don’t deviate from the classic but feed into it and dovetail beautifully. I have enjoyed all three of Allie Cresswell’s Highbury novels and I think Miss Austen would have approved of her imaginings of her characters’ earlier lives.
As I've mentioned in my reviews of book one and book two of this trilogy I haven't read Jane Austen's Emma but I've become a fan of historical romance and I have particularly enjoyed this trilogy by Allie Cresswell that sweeps you away to the lives and loves of three generations of ladies from one family living in the village of Highbury. I have to admit that it did take me a little longer to get my head around the characters and storyline in Dear Jane but it is well worth sticking with the story as once I was immersed in the storyline I was totally swept away with the romance and the secrecy of a love that was kept hidden due to the constrains of family and society rules. Dear Jane is the story of Jane, Mrs Bates' granddaughter who sadly had been left orphaned at a young age. Jane has been granted guardianship by dear friends of her late father, a Colonel Campbell and his wife. The couple have a daughter, Rowena, who is of similar age to Jane. Jane was to become a friend and confidante to Rowena. The girls temperaments complimented each other Rowena was shy, a little clumsy and lacking in confidence whereas Jane had been blessed with beauty and musical ability and was able to guide Rowena when she felt her confidence needed boosting. As time went on the girls grew into delightful young ladies and their friendship was soon put to the test with emotions on matters of the heart. Dear Jane was a fitting finale to a charming historical romance trilogy. The lives and loves of three generations of women from one family evoked many emotions within me, my heart ached, my heart soared and I smiled during happier times with Mrs Bates, her daughter's Jane and Hetty and granddaughter Jane.
Dear Jane is the third and final book in the Highbury Trilogy, (inspired by Jane Austen's 'Emma') by Allie Cresswell.
In this instalment of the trilogy, we follow the relationship between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. If you have read or watched 'Emma' you will know of course what their outcome is. What this story does is take you right back to when our couple fall in love and the whys and wherefores as to why they hid their relationship and consequent engagement and the difficulty both felt during that time.
I was fascinated by their story and the author's take on the various characters also in 'Emma'. I honestly enjoyed it so much and it worked in so well with the original story that it could easily be taken as Austen's own writing. I could picture myself sitting down to watch the film of the book before continuing with 'Emma'. It really was that good. It did take me a long time to read, and to be honest, it's the length of the Austen books that have made me watch the films rather than read the books. I had to persevere and read this book though because it was really very good, and because sadly I guess it isn't going to be made into a film.
It took a long time, a lot of trials and tribulations, a lot of frustration and inteference by some people, but Jane and Frank got their happy ending and it was well worth the wait for them. I do so love a happy ending.
I have enjoyed this entire trilogy and I cannot recommend it enough. If you are a fan of Austen I don't think you will be disappointed by this author's writing.