Only A Novel

Only A Novel
Amy Dashwood
I have been following the progress of this book nearly since I was introduced the author’s delightfully fun blog here. I had always enjoyed reading her excerpts, so when I found out that she had self-published the book, I did a little happy dance and then promptly ordered it. I actually read it a few weeks ago, but lazy me has only just now sat down to write a review.

Only a Novel begins in the late 1800s with Elizabeth Markette utterly alone and down to her last penny. Obsessed (although, of course, she would never admit it) with Jane Austen, she decides to use the last of her money to head to Europe and seek a job as a governess. After all, the classic works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and Charles Dickens are proof that romance and adventure (and eligible, wealthy young bachelors!) abound in England, right? Things, of course, do not happen exactly as she hopes.

My sister read this book after I did, and she made the comment that she felt like she was reading a book by a good friend who knew all the same inside jokes she did. That’s exactly how I felt, too! Allusions to so many of my favorite classic books had me smiling and sometimes laughing out loud. I think it was when she used the phrase, "no nonsense" that I finally lost it and keeled over laughing. Even so, I have to say, what I liked most about this book was the characters.

Lavinia, the scatterbrained, slightly eccentric socialite, was definitely my favorite. I think I was smiling on every page she was present. Of course, Rodney was a close a second. Even if he was too "Henry Tilney-like" to be a hero. Oh…Henry was the hero of Northanger Abbey, wasn’t he? Hahaha. Ahem. Another inside joke…

This book is not written in the typical fashion of modern novels. In fact, I doubt I’ve read any other book like it. It was greatly refreshing, though I understand it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, if you take my meaning. The only downside to this book is that if you’re not a Jane Austen fan, you probably won’t get half the jokes, and wonder why on earth this lady is mentioned so much, especially at the beginning. So….go read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey before you read this book. Or, at the very least, watch the movies!

Objectionable content: to my delight, there is really, absolutely NOTHING. Sigh of pleasure :)

Rating: 8

(Sorry about the font sizes...out computer is acting up!)


  1. Squeeeeep!

    How did I not see this until now???
    Oh, right... because I never actually got around to following this blog. *follows*

    Anyways. Thank you so much for reviewing this, Hayden! I'm SO thrilled that you liked it! Inside jokes indeedles. I'm glad you "got" them. Kindred spirits are such a lovely thing! And YAY you liked Lavinia! Scatterbrained is an excellent word for her. Actually it's an excellent word in general. I don't use it enough in everyday conversation. I should. *writes it down*

    Thanks again for reviewing OAN!!

  2. Yay! Hello Miss Dashwood!!!

    I did indeed love Lavinia. Every time she appeared I did a happy dance. (well, not physically, but in my mind...:)


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