Release Day Review – ‘The Austen Girls’ by Lucy Worsley

TITLE: The Austen Girls
AUTHOR: Lucy Worsley
GENRE: Historical YA fiction
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 320 pages
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Bloomsbury Australia on May 19th, 2020
RRP: $15.99 AUD (paperback)



Would she ever find a real-life husband? Would she even find a partner to dance with at tonight’s ball? She just didn’t know.

Anna Austen has always been told she must marry rich. Her future depends upon it. While her dear cousin Fanny has a little more choice, she too is under pressure to find a suitor.

But how can either girl know what she wants? Is finding love even an option? The only person who seems to have answers is their Aunt Jane. She has never married. In fact, she’s perfectly happy, so surely being single can’t be such a bad thing?

The time will come for each of the Austen girls to become the heroines of their own stories. Will they follow in Jane’s footsteps?

In this witty, sparkling novel of choices, popular historian LUCY WORSLEY brings alive the delightful life of Jane Austen as you’ve never seen it before.

Jane Austen still inspires countless stories to this day with dozens of variations upon her classic novels and even stories based on Jane herself! The Austen Girls takes an interesting approach by including Jane as a important secondary character, but focusing on her (real-life) nieces Fanny and Anna dealing with the pressure of making their come-out to society at 16 and starting the husband hunt.

Reading about their struggles makes me feel very lucky that women no longer have to rely on marriage to secure their future and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get married! But in the 1800s, this was of the utmost importance leaving even headstrong Anna to suffer from nerves and flirt with disaster in her race to lock down a husband.

Shy sensitive Fanny is the Austen girl I most related to and rooted for, being the more sensible and responsible of the pair (I have a type, I preferred Elinor to Marianne too). Her quiet friendship with the local vicar even though her parents said nothing more would ever be possible made me hope for her to find her happy ending. I cheered for Fanny as she slowly stretched her wings and tentatively reached for her own goals outside of what she was instructed to desire, with the support of Aunt Jane.

A touching and occasionally bittersweet coming-of-age story with vividly drawn heroines supported by a delightful Jane Austen characterization I haven’t seen before and found utterly charming. Austen lovers or fans of historical novels will enjoy this one!⁣

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 kitties recommend this book.


Disclaimer: Physical copy provided by publisher free for an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

2 thoughts on “Release Day Review – ‘The Austen Girls’ by Lucy Worsley

    • I thought it was going to be a fluffy romance story and it ended up being more introspective (in an easy to read YA manner) about the limited opportunities for girls in that era and how even being born into a privileged family lifestyle doesn’t guarantee a happily ever after. and yes, Aunt Jane was my fave, we all need her in our lives, haha!


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