Title: The Austen Girls
Author: Lucy Worsley
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Would she ever find a real-life husband? Would she even find a partner to dance with at tonight’s ball? She just didn’t know.
Anna Austen has always been told she must marry rich. Her future depends upon it. While her dear cousin Fanny has a little more choice, she too is under pressure to find a suitor.
But how can either girl know what she wants? Is finding love even an option? The only person who seems to have answers is their Aunt Jane. She has never married. In fact, she’s perfectly happy, so surely being single can’t be such a bad thing?
The time will come for each of the Austen girls to become the heroines of their own stories. Will they follow in Jane’s footsteps?
In this witty, sparkling novel of choices, popular historian LUCY WORSLEY brings alive the delightful life of Jane Austen as you’ve never seen it before.
1809: Fanny and Anna Austen are two teenage cousins who have just debuted to society. Their goal is to find the perfect husband, though that looks different for each girl. Fanny is from a wealthier family, and her mother insists she marry someone of a higher status. Anna’s family is not as well off, so she must aim lower for a husband. Meanwhile, a man that Fanny has just met is falsely accused of a crime, and her Aunt Jane has to help her figure out how to set him free. Both girls have to grow into young women and find their futures in Regency England.
This is another fun historical story from Lucy Worsley. I love Jane Austen, so this was an entertaining look into her family life. Jane was the fun aunt who helped Fanny and Anna with their daily problems. However, when they wanted advice on romance, Fanny’s mother didn’t want them going to Aunt Jane. Jane Austen may have written some of the most famous romantic stories but she was never married. She was very observant to human nature, though, so she was able to (secretly) write romances that are still being read and adapted two hundred years later.
Some of the subject matter may be surprising for young readers. Fanny and Anna were about sixteen years old, but they were expected to find husbands and get married immediately. Many of the suitors the girls had were grown men and sometimes middle aged. Today, it wouldn’t be appropriate for a teenage girl to be getting engaged to a man twice her age, but it was common and sometimes expected in the 1800s. The story also took a serious turn at the end, which I wasn’t expecting. However, it authentically represented the issues that young girls faced during the time.
The Austen Girls is a beautiful Jane Austen themed story!
What to read next:
My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley
Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Have you read The Austen Girls? What did you think of it?