At 39, verging on 40, Kate Shaw finds herself unemployed, living with her mother and facing foreclosure. To help her family avoid financial disaster, she accepts a writing assignment on how to make like a Jane Austen character and marry well (read: land a rich man). The article’s subject quickly becomes Kate’s real-life objective, but while pretending to be an aristocrat is relatively simple and gets her into the inner circle of the social elite, winning a husband proves a tad more difficult. Kim Izzo handily makes her protagonist both lovable and comical, and she keeps readers on the edges of their seats anticipating—but not hoping for!—the eventual blow-up. A fun read for any Austen fan who enjoys the age-old question: Should one marry for love or money?
The Jane Austen Manual, Kim Izzo, $22.