A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith

A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith

by Lori Smith

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Overview

Step into a Life of Grace
At thirty-three, dealing with a difficult job and a creeping depression, Lori Smith embarked on a life-changing journey following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England.
With humor and spirit, Lori leads readers through landscapes Jane knew and loved–from Bath and Lyme, to London and the Hampshire countryside–and through emotional landscapes in which grace and hope take the place of stagnation and despair. Along the way, Lori explores the small things, both meanness and goodness in relationships, to discover what Austen herself knew: the worth of an ordinary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400073702
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/16/2007
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 717,707
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Lori Smith is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Washingtonian and Today’s Christian Woman. She is author of The Single Truth and creator of the popular literary blog Jane Austen Quote of the Day.

What People are Saying About This

Tamara Leigh

"With wit, charm, and rare honesty-of which I have to believe Jane Austen would have thoroughly approved-Lori Smith weaves her personal life experiences throughout her journey into the life that was Jane's. Infused with faith, romance, loss, and a search for self, A Walk With Jane Austen makes for that rare book that keeps popping into one's thoughts and beckoning one back."--(Tamara Leigh, author of Perfecting Kate and Splitting Harriet)

Gina R. Dalfonzo

"With deep and sometimes heartwrenching honesty, Lori Smith weaves her story and Jane's together into a wholly unique narrative. In the midst of a craze for treating Austen's novels as little more than glorified bodice-rippers, Lori brings to bear her perspective as a single Christian woman who can identify in many ways with Austen's own beliefs and experiences, exploring truths and ideas that others gloss over. The resulting book stands out like a beacon."--(Gina R. Dalfonzo, editor of The Point weblog and writer for BreakPoint Radio)

Emma Campbell Webster

"Sensitively written and carefully paced this memoir takes the reader on a tour of the author's experiences while journeying around England in the footsteps of Jane Austen. Lori Smith moves seamlessly from romantic daydreams, through a close questioning of her relationship with God, to battles with her mental and physical health. The book reads as an intimate and honest memoir and has enough to satisfy the non-Christian (like myself) if they choose to look beyond the somewhat unexpected (in a mainstream book at least) pairing of Jane Austen and Christianity. Above all else, this is a book about searching-for love, meaning, peace with oneself, health, a good night's sleep, and a decent cup of coffee that wasn't made with that freeze-dried-instant-powder-and these are experiences that anyone of any faith can relate to.... A welcoming read. Lyrical and questioning...perfectly pitched."--(Emma Campbell Webster, actress, author of Lost in Austen, and founder of lostinaustenblogspot.com)

Karen Joy Fowler

"A young woman goes looking for Austen in all the places Austen once lived and many of the places she wrote about. The Austen she finds is a woman of family, and of quiet but sustaining faith. Austen shares these things and many others with author Lori Smith whose book gives the reader the great pleasure of time spent with both. A lovely, intimate read."--(Karen Joy Fowler, best-selling author of The Jane Austen Book Club)

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A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Journals and memoirs destined for the popular market are among the hardest non-fiction books to write. How much should one put in or leave out without 'boring' one's audience? How much of the 'Self' does one want to reveal to strangers? In A Walk With Jane Austen Lori Smith strikes a delicate balance between her personal journey of love and faith in the modern world, and her decision to break free of her old life and embark on a new one while tracing Jane Austen's foot steps. She deftly weaves her personal narrative in with Jane's story. Lori's writing style is lovely and clear, and her combination of artlessness and worldly knowledge are endearing. I imagine these are qualities that Jane also possessed. I savored this book, which is not meant to be a history about Jane but a personal account of Lori's journey. In fact, Lori drops in gems of historical information about Jane, which flavors the book and enriches it with Jane lore. Compared to the truly empty Jane fiction that populates book store shelves these days - stories of Mr. Darcy before and after he meets Elizabeth, and of Jane sleuths, and the like - Lori's personal account rings as clear as a lovely glass bell. I will definitely read this book again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Walk with Jane Austen is part memoir of author Lori Smith¿s trip to places where Austen lived or visited and places featured in screen adaptations of Austen¿s novels, and part Austen biography. But much of it is about Smith herself, her quest for true love, and how she is like or unlike Austen and Austen¿s fictional characters. Your opinion of the book will largely depend on how much reading about Smith interests you, because it¿s really A Walk with Lori Smith. Smith¿s trip to Austenland started with a one-week course at Oxford, where she met Jack, an American graduate student. In spite of the decidedly mixed signals that he gave her, within a few days she believed that she was in love. Reading her ruminations about their ¿relationship,¿ which thread through the book, I was simultaneously impressed by her openness and embarrassed for her. There is more than I cared to know about Smith¿s appearance and what she wore on a given day, and there are musings like, ¿I wonder, does anything bad happen if you wait to pee longer than you should?¿ I wonder, what would Jane think? Smith seemed surprised by the famous collection in the British Library, and some travel sections in the book lack depth, but her examination of Austen¿s faith and religious background is fascinating. So, semi-recommended.
mldg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting little memoir. Lori Smith, a single Christian writer and admirer of Jane Austen, decides to take a tour of places associated with Austen. For much of the book Smith compares her life with Austen's. Sprinkled throughout are historical facts about Austen'slife. Smith tries to reconcile her faith in God, her singleness and the freedom that gives her in today's world. What I take away from this book is that we each have struggles. We each must make decisions and that those decisions shape the rest of our lives.My favorite passage in the book centers on a conversation Smith has with her father. She tells him of her wish to meet the writer Madeline L'Engle. He asks her, "What are you going to do to make that happen?" For the first time Smith realizes that she gets to determine the path her life takes.
tmarie84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read since I am a Jane Austen fan. I thought Lori did a nice job taking her readers on a journey with her through England and through her emotional roller coaster of discovering more about herself and her perpective on relationships. Although I felt embarassed part of the time with her emotional outbursts and jr. high-ish reactions to meeting a guy who she immediately falls for... her honesty was raw and it gave a look into the potential pit falls that girls have tendencies toward when it comes to deciphering reality versus their fantasies.
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lori Smith writes about her trip to England to experience the places Jane Austen lived and wrote in. While there she hopes to experience and Austen like romance and to find some spiritual comfort as she is recovering from a mysterious illness. She is remarkable candid, sharing quite a bit about her inner life including her romantic hopes and dreams and struggles with her illness. I enjoyed these personal aspects, and I also learned a lot about Austen's life and the places she frequented while reading about Lori's trip. The author included a nice map and summary of the places she visited which was very helpful. I definitely recommend this trip with anyone with an affection for Austen, especially if they want to see how her writing meshes with the life of a young, single American in the 21st century.
gardentoad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lori Smith explores faith, health, and love as she travels through England, following the path of Jane Austen. An enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not finish this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Freelance writer Lori Smith guides readers throughout the rolling hills of England as she follows the path of esteemed writer Jane Austen. As she travels to and from the significant places of Jane's life, Smith not only gives the audience insight on Austen, but also paints the story of her life as well. Being as she is thirty-three and still single, Lori is desperate to find love; thus she believes walking the same road as her rold model will enhance her chances of this. A strong believer of Christianity, Lori looks to God for his grace and goodness as obstacles confront her throughout her journey, but also seems to base some of her morals off of Jane Austen and her glorious books. I enjoyed being informed about the marvels of Jane Austen; her family life, love life, and career as an author as well as getting to personally know Lori Smith. Despite this, I found it slightly depressing to learn of Lori's chronic sickness and struggle to find love, as much as I feel bad for her, it also somewhat put a damper on the story. Otherwise it is a wonderfully written nonfiction read I recommend especially for Jane Austen fans-it admittedly makes me want to pick up one of Austen's books myself-and those who struggle with finding love. All you singles out there, pick up this book and prepare to be satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book as a gift but after glossing it found it had too heavy a religious theme, which makes little sense it one knows Jane Austen. My local B&N store would not even give me a store credit for something more suitable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Austen and so of course, I love anyone who also loves Jane Austen. I enjoyed the honesty with which Lori Smith recounted her struggles to find meaning in her relationships using Jane Austen's stories as a 'How to Find Love and Keep it' guide. As a Christian, I also empathized with Lori's struggle with her faith and the religious establishment. And as someone who fights low energy and depression I related to her 'down' days. In other words, I thought Lori Smith has written a great book that so many of us can relate to on several levels.