Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Jane Austen Saved Me: An overly dramatic story, I admit it

No-one ever wants to get THAT kind of call, but I got it. The kind of call that makes time stand still and fear blossom in your chest. I got “the call” in which I learned my husband had been involved in a car accident and was being transported to the ER by an ambulance. No details were known except that the truck he had been driving had been totaled and no-one else had been involved.

Seven hours, 1 CT scan, 3 nurses, 2 doctors, multiple heart-wrenching calls, and many stitches later, my husband was released under my supervision with a nasty gash on his head, a concussion, and several broken ribs. For a week, he was out of action—mainly confined to his Lazy-Boy chair in a haze of meds. During this time I was out of action also—I literally dropped every work-related and personal obligation to sit at home with him. I didn’t even want to leave the house for fear I might miss something...

Okay, okay, you might say—what is this, I’m not reading this blog to hear about truck accidents, pain, and fear, where is the Jane Austen?! No worries, have patience, I am coming to it right now.

During this week, that is when Jane Austen saved me. In between answering phone calls and emails and making sure my husband was okay, I happened to open Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. And even with my fears about health insurance coverage and future employment options and traumatic brain injuries, I actually smiled at her descriptions of society interactions and personalities. I tore through the book and headed to Pride and Prejudice. I found strength and courage from Elizabeth Bennett and resolved not to give in to histrionics like her mother.

Emma and Persuasion reinforced a sense of courage, determination, and redemption.

I devoured all of Jane Austen’s six main works. And because of that, I sat with my husband with a sense of calm, patience, and hope. My husband slowly healed, our health insurance eventually came through, the support from our family and friends was amazing, and we both ultimately returned to work and life.

THAT is how Jane Austen saved me.


  1. Slowly but surely, Jane is becoming my hero! I'm awaiting some more tidbits about her--like her bio and what made her such a fabulous babe!

  2. A fabulous babe is right. If you ask me, she revolutionized novel-writing AND began the concept of independent, working women.