DNF at about 30% - a quite tone-deaf memoir from someone who had the means to escape her life for 10 years. Far too academic in style for how it was billed.
DNF - Didn't finish as I wasn't fully invested in the content, but I think there are a lot of people out there that would
The Jane Austen Remedy is an absolutely delightful memoir that will warm the hearts of readers young and old. Ruth Wilson's story is one of resilience, self-discovery, and the healing power of literature. As she embarks on a journey to rediscover the heroines that inspired her, Ruth takes us on a journey of self-acceptance and a newfound appreciation for life's second chances.
Wilson's writing is elegant and thoughtful, and her love for Jane Austen's work shines through on every page. It's impossible not to be swept up in the magic of her storytelling, as she effortlessly weaves together her own life experiences with the timeless lessons found in Austen's novels. The Jane Austen Remedy is a testament to the transformative power of literature and the ability of books to change lives.
At its core, this memoir is a celebration of life, love, and the joys of aging. Ruth Wilson proves that it's never too late to embrace your passions, follow your heart, and embark on a journey of self-discovery. The Jane Austen Remedy is a must-read for fans of Jane Austen, memoirs, and anyone looking for a little inspiration in their own lives. Highly recommended!
The Jane Austen Remedy by Ruth Wilson is a cross between a memoir and literary criticism. While I found this book to be thought provoking, it was also a very slow read. It functions as a memoir, but it is also very dense and academic.
* I received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley
Ruth Wilson first encountered Pride and Prejudice in the 1940s. She has returned many time to Jane Austen’s novels and heroines during a long life in which reading has been both a love and a priority. After her sixtieth birthday she took the radical decision to retreat from her conventional married life and live alone while confronting perplexing feelings of loss, loneliness, regret and unhappiness. In a small rural cottage, painted the colour of yellow sunshine, Ruth embarked on a re-reading of Jane Austen’s six major novels. As she read between the lines of both the novels and her own life she felt herself reclaiming her voice and her sense of self.
An uplifting memoir of love, self-acceptance and the curative power of reading, The Jane Austen Remedy raises big questions about truth and memory, personal loyalty and betrayal, prudence and risk, reason and passion. It is an inspirational account of recovery and self-discovery. Ruth travels through nine decades of living, loving and learning, unravelling memories of relationships and lived experiences, looking for small truths that help explain the arc of a life that has been both ordinary and extraordinary.
I'm still not sure what I read with this one. I know that it's a memoir but other than that I'm not sure.
Took too long to get started. If the book does get better later I wish it would have started there. I sadly abandoned it.
I'm afraid I failed to finish this book. I thought I knew what kind of book it was, but I was expecting something a little lighter. The memoirist follows a familiar form in providing some introductory information and general commentary, then chapters interspersing reading and rereading of a JA novel with life memories and reflections. I found it a little too sober and serious, and some of the connections tenuous, like she had to really push some square pegs of her memories into the round holes of observations about the novels to fit the format. The writing was lovely in its way, but ultimately a no for me. I'd possibly have enjoyed a straight memoir from this author, who had an interesting life and a lot to say about the era and milieu of her upbringing and adult life, but maybe not. I do appreciate the opportunity to read this book.
I don’t read a ton of memoirs, but I am automatically drawn to anything with Jane Austen in the title. The idea of reading about the impact of Austen’s novels on a person’s life intrigued me. Yet I did find this book a bit dry, and it was hard for me to really get into it. There were places here and there that were engaging, yet overall, I found the story hard to connect with.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Allison and Busby through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
I was drawn to this book by its title, with its mention of Jane Austen, and the importance of reading that is acknowledged on the cover. I am often interested in reads that are about books and authors.
This memoir opens when Ruth Wilson found herself most unhappy as she turned sixty. Her decision for moving forward led her to move to her own home away from her husband of many years. What Ruth planned to do there was to reacquaint herself with Austen’s novels. I was intrigued by the prospect of contemplating Austen with her.
This title is filled with literary references and insight into Austen and other writers. There is also much about the author’s life growing up in Australia as a young Jewish woman and moving through adulthood.
I found this memoir to be interesting but left it wishing that I had liked it more. I think that perhaps it meandered a bit for me. Still, if you are an Austen fan or a woman of a certain age, you might enjoy this one.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Allison & Busby for this title. All opinions are my own.
I'm sorry, but this is not for me. I only made it half through the very long introduction... and tried to read the first chapter but stopped. I tried again a day later and just can't do it. I felt like I was reading the words but nothing grabbed my attention and I couldn't retain anything to keep my attention.
Admittedly I loath biographies and this more a memoir... I'm opting to not share this with Goodreads since this isn't my cup of tea to begin with and not a fair review since I didn't make it through the first chapter. I saw Jane Austen and got excited.
This was a wonderful book. Anyone who is looking to reclaim their life and can't determine the best way to do it would do well to read this and put its recommendations to work.
A wonderful memoir of how reading shaped her life, Ruth Wilson describes her life through 9 decades, of both the highs and lows and how reading helped her discover her voice and her truest self. After leaving her husband of 50 years in her 70s, Wilson returns to the classics, notably Jane Austen’s novels, to remind herself what she wants out of life and it led her to live on her own again, pursuing further education and completing her PHD at 88, and publishing this memoir at 90.
This story spanning nearly a century of Wilson’s life is truly incredible, with the same wicked twists and turns fate has in store, but Wilson always returns to books as guidance, for comfort and stability when the times get tough. It’s wonderful to read about the impact certain authors have had on history in a large scale and even in the smallest, individual scale, how those authors have shaped the lives of their readers, even so many years post-mortem.
I feel I gravitate towards books that describe the influence novels and a life-long love of reading can have on people. I know I wouldn’t be the same without that same love encouraged in me when I was very young through family members reading to me until their mouths were dry. This memoir is a love letter to Jane Austen and the impact she has had with her iconic leading ladies who have served as inspiration for many generations of girls, women and other female main characters of novels in the past 200 years.
I’m so grateful to be given a chance to take part in this blog blast with Allison & Busby @allisonandbusby and for Libby Haddock for organising a final copy to be sent to me.
I struggled with this one, possibly because the title appealed but the subject matter wasn't what I expected. I found that stopping for some many quotations didn't help with the flow of the book. Do people live their lives and recognise their experiences as quotes from their favourite novels? Maybe it's just me, but it felt contrived.
I understand what the book was trying to do though, sadly, it wasn't for me.
Thanks to Netgalley.
This is a hard book for me to review. I like the idea of this memoir but the execution fell flat. Ruth Wilson chronicles her life and the impact of Jane Austen on her through 8 chapters. I struggled to follow her journey as each chapter focused on many people in her life instead of the immediate event of rereading Jane Austen in her 70s. I felt like this has been presented as a memoir when it functions as a autobiography so I was lacking the intention of one event and one period of time. This is unfortunately two stars for me but I hope someone else will find this as a book for them.
I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
Thoughtful, direct and reflective, Ruth Wilson's THE JANE AUSTEN REMEDY is an intriguing dive into the impact of reading (and rereading) not only Austen but other works of literature can impact and change a life. Wilson takes a hard look at her own life--and in doing so gives the reader a lot to think about. Recommended.
Thanks to Allison & Busby and to Netgalley for the opportunity of an early read.
The Jane Austen Remedy by Ruth Wilson is a memoir connecting the author's life with her reading of Jane Austen's novels. In a similar vein to My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead.
This is the story of Ruth Wilson (not the British actress - a different one) and how the six novels of Jane Austen came to have a profound and enduring effect on her during her long life. I have read five of Austen's novels and respect the author (as in, Ruth Wilson) and her experiences here. But I've got to be honest, the book did rather bore me, to be honest. Sorry Ruth!
I wanted to love this book as I love introspection, retrospection, and especially Jane Austen. It put me to sleep. I thought perhaps I was just suffering a book hangover from the last book that I had finished mixed with having just finished an eight-hour work shift so I tried again and it turns out that I just do not enjoy the writing. It felt like I was back in college in the dark stacks of the campus library reading something that I "had" to but wouldn't read by choice. Here, though, I have a choice and that choice is to congratulate Ruth Wilson on all that she has achieved in life... but to not finish the book (until, perhaps, the next time I need a nap).
‘how astutely Jane Austen understood the role played by the patriarchy in normalising the subordination of women, and how effectively she camouflaged that knowledge'
You can see by the above quote based on Virginia Woolf that this book is a challenging read. In places it is academic and dense and there is rather a lot of repetition of phrases, the ‘polymath A.C. Grayling’ for example and the repeated making of friends, hearing their story then, often as not, they disappear from the narrative. And a few errors which should have been caught in proofreading, ‘dependant’ (for dependent) is notable. Given all this, there are two ways to read this.
One is as an autobiography, which it certainly is. Ruth Wilson first reads Pride and Prejudice when she is 15 but it is not until she is 60 that she decides she has become detached from her marriage and as she has come into money, a fortunate fortune indeed, she buys a cottage which she paints sunshine yellow inside and out and sets out on a solo life. She remains married but lives her own life, making allusions to Room of One’s Own but for reading rather than writing. And the reading is to be the complete Jane Austen canon. As she says:
‘I was making Austen’s novels a starting point for exploring the satisfactions and dissatisfactions of my own life, framed and illuminated by her fictional universe.’
But you could also read this for the insights it offers into Jane Austen’s novels. She devotes a chapter each to the main six novels and interprets these thoroughly but also as compared and contrasted with her own life and experience. I found this more interesting than her life story. Sorry. One such insight is that she has found different experiences and insights ‘in the folds of the text’ at each new reading. I am 20 years younger than her eventual 90 years but have felt the same. on re-reading Austen. There is always something new to discover and this is different from when you are aged 15 to when you have reached 90. I do think you will get more out of this book if you are an Austen reader and there are a lot of literary allusions. These range from Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Mary Shelley through the Brontes, Dickens, and George Elliot to modern writers such as Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. So knowledge of these writers and others, however sketchy, helps. There is an exhaustive reading list at the end of the book.
I will not spoil how Ruth finds her solution and reclaims her authentic voice but it befits a modern Austen reader. There is much wisdom in the quotes used from Jane Austen but also in Ruth’s interpretations. Like a lot of avid readers, and I am one, she says that:
‘For some years I have recognised that the love of reading has been one of the unexpected blessings in my life.’
She has encouraged me to re-read the six Austen novels myself. And I will start with my least favourite, Northanger Abbey’ just as she did.
I read a review copy provided by NetGalley and the publishers but my views are my own.