Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: Christian Encounters :Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

Jane AustenJane Austen by Peter J. Leithart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I was extremely disappointed by this book.  The information was good and interesting, but the writing and flow were choppy and confusing.  Paragraphs giving synopsis of Austen's major works were thrown in willy-nilly; the different people involved in her life were difficult to keep track of ... especially when last names were purposely left off (a family tree would have been more helpful than a list of people); and, finally, unlike Dr. Leithart's other work pronouns were not always clear who they were referring to and paragraphs and even sentences started with one idea and ended with something entirely unrelated.  It felt like it could have been edited much better.

I disliked the system of writing about her life in "themes" and would have much preferred a more straightforward timeline ordering of the book rather than this structure; I think the context would have helped.

I appreciate Dr. Leithart's emphasis on Austen's faith and the depth of her voice, but learned more from Miniatures and Morals which I whole-heartedly recommend.  I'm disappointed to be unable to recommend this book; it felt dashed together.

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  1. How odd. It's part of a series -- do you know if the rest of them are organized that way? I don't really like the Leaders in Action series for that reason.

    Or, I wonder if it's a collection of the various essays and blog posts he's written about her.

    I agree that Miniatures and Morals is a really good book. I was looking forward to this one, so I'm glad to read your review.

  2. No, I don't know anything about the rest of the series. Sorry.

    I don't think it is a collection of essays, it was much more cohesive than that. I was really disappointed, and I wonder if my disappointment was greater because of my desire to read it and previous knowledge of general writing ability.

  3. Well, that is a bummer b/c we usually like his writings. :(

  4. I know. Usually he's a very trustworthy author.

    I will say that reviews both on Amazon and Good Reads like this book much better than I did and are generally positive. Perhaps, I have the wrong opinion (but obviously, I don't think so [grin])


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