I’m always curious about devotionals that take pieces of literature and extrapolate life lessons. Sometimes I think the editors can either read too much into the passages they select or the life lesson is so broad it could fit any literary passage. Steffany Woolsey does a good job finding passages from Jane Austen’s works that deal directly with the life lesson, Ms. Woolsey is attempting to convey. In connecting the passage from then to now, I didn’t feel like Ms. Woolsey was being too vague either. She was good at keeping to the message of the passage but giving readers constructive life advice. All too often, devotional authors twist themselves into a pretzel trying to wring a spiritual meaning out of something that isn’t there. I don’t believe in trying to find something that wasn’t there to begin with. This wasn’t the case with this devotional; it felt much more authentic. While the devotional isn’t marketed for a specific gender, sometimes the lesson felt like it was talking directly to a woman reader, other times it directly spoke to women, and other times the audience of any gender felt welcome. It may be that Ms. Woolsey plays off the knowledge that the majority of Ms. Austen’s fans are women.
I recommend this for a personal devotional. It’s nice to read each section at a time rather than one large chunk. I don’t recommend this for bookclubs. Unless you’re specifically looking for this type of book I don’t think there’d be a lot to discuss in a group setting.