Review: Christmas with Miss Austen by Laura Briggs

December 3, 2012 in Review

If I had my way, it would be Christmas all year round. I get tingles down my spine when it comes time to decorate the tree and sing Christmas carols. I live for nights snuggled into warm blankets, clutching a mug of cider or egg nog, and watching awesomely cheesy Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. All of those things fill me with a sense of overwhelming happiness.

So I was delighted to find those heartwarming movies that I devour distilled into book form in Laura Briggs’ lovely short tale Christmas with Miss Austen.

Julia Allen is a quirky artist in a small Massachusetts town. In her free time, she volunteers at a local historical landmark where she dresses up as Jane Austen and reads from a first edition of Northanger Abbey. (Can I have this job, pretty please?) One evening, she is caught late at work. As she rushes home in her costume, Julia bumps into a handsome stranger. But she does not stick around long enough to discover who it is.

Eliot Weston spends his time researching the history of books (so dreamy!). One late night, on his way home from the office, he bumps into a mysterious woman dressed like Jane Austen. The woman runs away so fast, Eliot is unsure whether he has really seen her… until he discovers that she’s dropped a valuable first edition of a Jane Austen novel.

Cue mistaken identity, a love that blossoms slowly and feels real, and two people who love the past but are ready to live in the present. Also cue some fun Jane Austen “inside” jokes in the form of the character’s names. Try to see how many you recognize!

Though it covers no startlingly new Austen ground, Christmas with Miss Austen is a well-paced and charming tale that is easy to read in one sitting.

So put on the Christmas carols, grab a mug of something warm, and get ready to feel your heart grow three sizes as you watch Julia and Eliot fall in love.

Five out of Five Twinkling Lights!


Laura Briggs graduated from a Missouri liberal arts college in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Her passion for reading has inspired her to become a freelance writer and novelist. Ms. Briggs enjoys dabbling in several fiction genres, including romance, mystery, and literary.

Find Christmas with Miss Austen and more of her lovely books here.