Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sotherton Abbey Book Review...

Title: Sotherton Abbey: Jane Austen Meets Sante Fe
By: Inez Ross
Publisher: Ashley House
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9780966433746
Pages: 173

Each chapter begins with a quote from Jane Austen and other prominent authors including C.S. Lewis, Lord Chesterfield and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This book is a pocket companion small enough to fit in your back pocket but large enough to tell a great coming of age story. It’s a small book with a lot of suspense and excitement as Christina Dashwood leaves her Michigan farm home travelling to Sante Fe to take six weeks of summer classes at the Regency Seminar.

Introduced to Jane Austen in her final year of high school by her classroom teacher, Mr. Saxon, she is eager to attend this seminar. Christina has never left her home town alone and her parents are not exactly excited about the trip to New Mexico. At first, her father denies her the opportunity by telling her that they don’t have the money for her to go. However, her teacher informs the class of the trip and the scholarship that comes through a writing contest that Christina eagerly enters. The contest winner receives a free trip for the seminar which Christina ultimately wins. A real journey begins as soon as Christina boards the train for her trip. Christina arrives at the seminar but not without setbacks that occurred on her journey. Despite the challenges, she triumphed and arrived in Sante Fe while becoming friends with a young girl, Jane Fairfax, along the way.

Christina and Jane become close friends which directs the suspense and mystery of the story. Jane’s family has some secrets that are shared throughout adding to the suspense and mystery that begin to arrive in Christina's life. Christina becomes a heroine as she helps Jane solve the mystery. That is exciting for Christina as she has secretly desired to be a heroine. This book is a great, faced paced story that could be read anywhere as it is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse. The difficulty is that you will want to sneak a peek at it every chance you get because it is hard to put down. Ms. Ross is an established author and this is her eighth book which is reflected in her great storytelling ability. If you are a fan of Jane Austen or have never had an opportunity to read anything from her time, now is your chance. Good stuff!

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