I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison (Published in the UK by Macmillan Books, March 5, 2010; and in the US by Delacorte Books, October 12, 2010)
When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?
In this delicious dance between truth and fiction, Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies, and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved Jane.
I am intrigued by the fact that this book is written as a diary - some of my favorite books ever were the Dear America and Royal Diaries series which were historical fiction written in diary format. Sounds like it will be a really good read. The above cover is the US cover. Here is the UK cover. Which do you like better? I personally like the US cover better, as it looks more historical and more mature: