Culture Street

Kate Shaw lives a glamorous life working as an acting beauty editor for a fashion magazine. Now, due to cutbacks, she is told her services are no longer required. Her boyfriend has run off with her money, she has no job and is about to turn 40. To make matters worse all those around her are consumed with their swelling bellies and the gender of imminent offspring. Kate takes solace in Jane Austen.

Kate’s friends, in a bid to boost her morale, club together to buy her title to a postage stamp piece of land in Scotland. This little piece of paper transforms Kate Shaw into Lady Katherine Shaw, a far more appropriate title for someone who loves all things Jane Austen.

Kate is offered the perfect freelance assignment. As Jane Austen suggested, is it still possible for women of a certain age to marry well? She is going to put Austen’s marriage plot to the test. It soon becomes more of a reality than just an article for a magazine. The assignment takes Kate from all the glamour of St Moritz to New York and London.

As Kate discovers the real plight of her own mother’s financial situation so her search becomes more desperate. She jets off on private jets, as imposter Lady Katherine Shaw, and does the rounds at the well heeled polo matches often with hilarious results.

During her travels Kate keeps meeting up with brooding Englishman Griffith Kent, but he is not for Kate, his clothes and breeding are not what she has set her sights on. The charming Scott, 20 years her senior, she deems far more appropriate in her time of need. Will Kate marry for love or for money?

Izzo has written a charming romantic comedy, the modern Pride and Prejudice complete with its own English manor, Penwick Manor. She weaves Austen themes beautifully throughout her book beginning each chapter with an Austen quote.

“Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief’ 

Emma - Jane Austen

 Lovers of Jane Austen will enjoy this read. The fabulous contemporary settings are vividly described and the upper crust social set is portrayed with brilliant humour. 

Kim Izzo is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines. She is the co–author of The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Life and The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum. The Jane Austen Marriage Manual is her first novel.

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