I just finished a book that I really wanted to share with you guys. Well, I figure it's pretty much chick lit, so for any male readers out there I won't be mad if you totally skip this post. And no I won't renege on that.
And the reason I figure it's chick lit is it has Jane Austen in the title, and many guys shy away from anything that has anything to do with Jane Austen.
Anyway, the book is titled The Jane Austen Marriage Manual, and I picked it up when I was in Target a couple weeks ago. I was killing some time in the book section, which is obviously not a good place to be because it means I usually walk away with at least one more book to read. I will shamefully admit I was interested in the book from the get-go simply because of the title. And when I finished it Tuesday evening, I had thoroughly enjoyed it. And I loved the simple lesson the main character learned.
Katherine Shaw - Kate - is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, and a financial disaster forces sale of the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.
Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs and presenting her with a birthday gift - title to land in Scotland - that's about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate's first assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: In the toughest economic times, is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate - now Lady Kate - jet-sets to Palm Beach, St. Moritz, and London, where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?
Now, anyone who has read Jane Austen (and who knows any history at all), knows that back in those days, marriage was basically an obligation. Both men and women married strictly for money and no affection. Some people were fortunate and there was respect, admiration, and affection in their marriage. Only few people married for love. But in Austen's time, marrying for love was becoming more wanted, especially by women. And it was rare that a woman would choose to never marry, as Jane Austen and her sister did, because they had to depend on friends and family in order to live. Jane Austen did not make a lot of money on her books, and therefore depended on the kindness of her brothers to help support her.
In today's society, marrying for love is pretty much how things are done. There are of course gold diggers in both genders, but we're not going to go there. Or I'm not. This book takes place at the beginning of the recession around 2008/2009, where even the rich were worried about losing money in investments. And the main character finds herself in a situation where marrying for money is definitely an option. And she asks the question: At forty, is it too late to marry for money?
Her journey is entertaining. And she learns a lot from her friends, family, and her experiences.