Book Review: All Roads Lead to Austen

T&TBookRevAll Roads Lead to Austen:
A Year-long Journey with Jane

Amy Smith

Recently, I’ve found a new love for nonfiction that I didn’t have before.  The latest in my nonfiction pile of reads was this book.  I LOVED it.  Of course, I have a great love for Jane Austen, so the idea behind this book intrigued me from the start.  The author, Amy, is an English professor who took a year sabbatical and traveled to six different Latin American countries over the course of the year.  In each new place, she gathered a group of locals, gave them Spanish copies of Jane Austen novels, and then later, met in book club form to discuss the books.  She wanted to see if the Austen novels transcended culture enough that people everywhere would connect with the characters on a personal level as do many people in the States.

Aside from the obvious love for the Austen discussions, I loved the story of Amy’s travels.  She told her story of how it felt to be living in each of these countries, and about the people who became dear to her.  The story not only became one about people discussing books, but one of their history, cultures and the personalities that transcend them.  The cherry-on-top was that she found her own Mr. Darcy along the way.  4.5 of 5 stars.

From the publisher:

With a suitcase full of Jane Austen novels en español, Amy Elizabeth Smith set off on a yearlong Latin American adventure: a traveling book club with Jane. In six unique, unforgettable countries, she gathered book-loving new friends— taxi drivers and teachers, poets and politicians— to read Emma,Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice.

Whether sharing rooster beer with Guatemalans, joining the crowd at a Mexican boxing match, feeding a horde of tame iguanas with Ecuadorean children, or tangling with argumentative booksellers in Argentina, Amy came to learn what Austen knew all along: that we’re not always speaking the same language— even when we’re speaking the same language.

But with true Austen instinct, she could recognize when, unexpectedly, she’d found her own Señor Darcy.

All Roads Lead to Austen celebrates the best of what we love about books and revels in the pleasure of sharing a good book— with good friends.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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