Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge


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I’m going to admit something that may not be popular here. As a Jane Austen fan, one of her books I like least is a favorite of many. There’s just something about Sense and Sensibility that has always bothered me. Maybe it’s because Marianne Dashwood seems more flighty than heart-on-her-sleeve to me, or that Elinor and Edward spend so little time together that I never get the feel for their relationship.

Whatever it is, I’m happy that there have been some adaptation of the original story that I have enjoyed reading. And Hillary Manton Lodge’s contemporary take on this classic tale is delightful and engaging.

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A Little Bit of Persuasion and a Lot of Love

Over the past several years, my favorite book written by Jane Austen has shifted from the more beloved Pride and Prejudice to Persuasion. There’s just something about love that not only lasts through years apart but becomes stronger even though both people change.

And Becky Wade’s Love in the Details (the final Novella in this year’s Year of Weddings novella series from Zondervan) hits on all the same notes.


Eight years ago, Holly broke up with her first love during their first year of college because she believed it was what was best. Josh needed to focus on his school, on his career. He needed to make the most of himself and not throw it all away to be with her.

Now, she must prepare herself to see him again at his best friend’s wedding in Martinsburg, Texas. When they actually run into each other on the street, every feeling she had for him rushes in but she knows she can’t fall in love with him again. It’s been eight years of longing and loss, and she won’t put herself through that again.

Josh had seven months to prepare himself for seeing Holly again. It wasn’t enough. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, his tight control on his life begins to shift and he finds excuses to spend time with her.

I loved the fact that Holly is an author. Her detailed descriptions of the people around her bespoke to that fact. And despite Josh’s success in business, he remains loyal to his friends and family, taking time out of his busy schedule to help out when needed.

A story of love that endures through time and the maturing of two people, one that proves God’s timing is perfect, my only complaint was I wanted to spend more time with Josh and Holly. And I want more details about Holly’s fun best friend.

I haven’t heard or seen whether Zondervan plans to do another go around of the wedding novella’s next year but maybe they could catch readers up on the lives of the people they’ve been introduced to over the past two years instead!

***Zondervan Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.