Book Review The Jane Austen Remedy by Ruth Wilson

About the book

At the age of seventy, Ruth Wilson blew up her life. Confronting feelings of regret and unhappiness, she left her husband, bought a sunshine-yellow cottage in the Southern Highlands and resolved to re-read the books that had shaped her formative years: Jane Austen’s six novels.

Over the next ten years, as Ruth read between the lines of both the novels and her own life, she slowly began to reclaim her identity.

Now aged ninety, Ruth shares her beautiful, life-affirming lessons in love, self-acceptance and the curative power of reading, as well as a timely reminder that it’s never too late to seize a second chance.


Readers were divided as to their enjoyment of this book, but all readers did agree that no one really liked the author, Ruth Wilson.

Some readers liked the narrative of the book and did recognize some foibles in their own lives due to the incites of the author into her own relationships. Most readers, however, found the author’s intense absorption into self-discovery relentless. This self-absorption was almost to the point of “draining the life out of you” in its intensity at times.

The group did find the book subject was very well researched with one reader commenting that this book could be recommended as a study tool for English literature subjects. The book was not felt by the group to be recommended as a book to read for pleasure.

The author writes in idolizing terms of Austen characters, characters that are fictional, almost fairytale, in their depiction.

To the group the author’s upbringing seemed almost privileged with her parents striving for her to be educated, accepted and respected in society. We therefore found her resentful issues with her upbringing misplaced and extremely harsh judgment on her parents, husband and family.

The author, by her own writings, has achieved extremely well in the “life achievements” department compared to so many others of that generation, men included. She did appear to lack genuine friendships although she did write often about friends. One reader made a valid observation that her spiritual life seemed devoid even though her writing frequently mentioned her Jewish religion and her life in, and her ongoing connections to, Israel. The section at the back of the book “Jane Austen’s Reading Remedies” was very much liked by the whole group. This small section was humorous, smart and an insightful review into each of Austen’s novels.

Read by MJ Readers