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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
My Dearest Miss Fairfax: What Jane Austen's Emma Didn't Know by Jeanette Watts is a love story revolving around Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Jane is a poor girl but has been allowed to grow up in a rich family. Frank is a young man forced to be at his rich aunt’s beck and call. Jane and Frank are drawn to each from the first time they cross paths in a music store in Weymouth. They become engaged secretly in the hope of getting Aunt Churchill’s approval later. Jane returns to her family home in Highbury, where she will be living with her aunt and grandmama. Frank’s father and his new bride also live in Highbury and they believe this will allow them the best chance of being together. Highbury is a small community where nothing is kept quiet and everyone loves sharing the gossip of the day. Can Jane and Frank overcome the obstacles that are in their way or are they destined never to marry?
I enjoyed My Dearest Miss Fairfax as there were so many elements that kept it exciting and full of suspense. Jane could be both sweet and deceitful. Frank was a little too wishy-washy for my taste but the plot kept me reading instead of doing my afternoon chores. While the book will inevitably be compared to Jane Austen’s Emma, I felt it stands on its own merits and has both a good storyline and interesting characters. This is a historical, romantic, and happy tale by Jeanette Watts and I strongly recommend it.