The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman of thirty-nine and in possession of a good complexion must be in want of a good husband. And a baby. Unless you are me.”
Kim Izzo’s debut novel opens with a brief introduction to our heroine Kate on her wedding day, flash back 6 months and the story begins, with the above quote – a twist on the infamous beginning of Pride & Prejudice. Are you hooked yet? Wait it gets better…
Kate, acting beauty editor (she’s the one that gets called in when someone goes on maternity leave), comes from a line of women who’ve never been able to depend on men. So, in order to avoid betrayal and disappointment, she’s schooled herself into believing she doesn’t need all that! Unfortunately, due to a series of events, Kate’s plans for an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle gets pulled out from underneath her. The broke, homeless (ok so she sleeps on her sister’s couch) and somewhat disappointed heroine needs to re-strategise. Opportunity comes a knocking when she is asked to write a freelance article based on whether or not she can find a rich man to marry using Austen’s rules.
So like Kate I love all things Austen, although my copies are possibly not as well thumbed as hers and I’ve never had the opportunity to lay my hands on a first edition! The title alone, was therefore enough to pique my interest. A beautiful cover, great writing and the modern twist on the ultimate Austen dilemma (a suitable marriage) had me devouring this gem like chocolate cake. Despite rationed reading time between “revision”, my time with Kate was over before I knew it. And despite her being a decade older than me, Kate was easy to empathise with. I loved her tenacity, elegance and humour.
It’s a little while before we get introduced to the Darcy-esque hero, but it’s well worth the wait. I have to say I think he had just the right amount of gruffness to keep you rooting for him. And as heroes go he was always around when he needed to be!
Kim Izzo brings you the modern day Austen heroine with all the trimmings. There are plenty of exotic characters; a Southern Belle, a swarthy stable hand and Scottish Colonel to name a few. High jinx and hilarity swiftly follow. Two words: cow condom! So, does Kate find her rich husband? Does she fall in love? Or will she be played at her own game? Read The Jane Austen Marriage Manual to find out more.