Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: Jane Austen’s Best Friend: The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd by Zoe Wheddon

Jane Austen’s Best Friend: The life and influence of Martha Lloyd

Synopsis from the publisher: All fans of Jane Austen everywhere believe themselves to be best friends with the beloved author and this book shines a light on what it meant to be exactly that. Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd offers a unique insight into Jane’s private inner circle. Through this heart-warming examination of an important and often overlooked person in Jane’s world, we uncover the life changing force of their friendship. Each chapter details the fascinating facts and friendship forming qualities that tied Jane and Martha together. Within these pages we will relive their shared interests, the hits and misses of their romantic love lives, their passion for shopping and fashion, their family histories, their lucky breaks and their girly chats. This book offers a behind the scenes tour of the shared lives of a fascinating pair and the chance to deepen our own bonds in ‘love and friendship’ with them both.

My Review

Jane Austen’s Best Friend: The life and influence of Martha Lloyd, is sure to be a treat for any Janeite. It is clear that the author has done her research, and I learned a great deal while reading this book; however, I had to take my time while reading. There were many passages I needed to reread many sections and, at one point, I almost got out a pen and paper to draw a diagram of the Austen family tree. If you really want to dig into the facts surrounding Jane Austen’s family and friends, this book has all the fascinating details.

The author manages to pack a lot of information and research into the book’s short chapters, but her writing style remains approachable. This book would be perfect for fans who are devout “Janeites.” Even casual readers such as myself can find a lot to enjoy and appreciate while reading this book– you just need to stay on your toes and keep up with all the names.

I would buy this book as a present and give it to anyone who loves Jane Austen. The author brings the friendship of Jane and Martha to life vividly. Her descriptions made me think of my own wonderful friends. It is refreshing to hear all these positive things about female camaraderie, instead of the negativity the media constantly feeds us about how all women supposedly hate each other. I’m happy that the author has preserved Martha and Jane’s friendship for posterity and this book is a valuable text for those interested in women’s studies.

I recommend this book for anyone who has a deep love of Jane Austen’s work and wants to know about the friendship that influenced her writing.

*I received a free copy of this book from Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The cover of the book is green and shows a sketch of two women wearing regency frocks.

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Author Bio – ‘A native of Jane Austen’s beloved county of Hampshire, Zoe Wheddon, lives in a village on the outskirts of the touwn that she and her husband Matt grew up in, with three grown up children and a cat called Leia.

She co-presents the popular podcast What Would Jane Do and writes articles and book reviews on matters relating to friendship, self-compassion and personal development on her blog. When not researching or writing her next book, Zoe can be found in the classroom teaching Spanish and French or singing ABBA songs loudly in her kitchen.’

Follow Zoe Wheddon on Twitter

  Twitter: @ZoeWheddon

Facebook: Zoe Wheddon Author page.

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