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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
One will always wonder how Jane Austen, who lived so many years back, is able to speak about modern relationships when everything now has changed when compared to the times of Jane Austen. Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Relationships by Ronald W. Richardson gives insight on two thinkers: novelist Jane Austen and professor of psychiatry Dr Murray Bowen, and their views on what can make or break relationships. The book connects the thoughts of these two thinkers and shows us how we can make our relationships better. Though most of us grew up on fairy tale romances and stories produced by Disney and Pixar, Jane Austen’s characters are realistic and the author highlights the intensity of feelings in this book that will teach us how to love and be loved.
The author draws on his experience as a marital counselor and, using examples from Jane Austen’s stories, he writes on a topic that is relevant. It his approach to the topic that makes the book different, interesting, and unique. The book sheds light on the things that usually get in the way of creating good relationships, and by helping readers to identify these problems, he helps readers develop a strong sense of self and have good relationships. The family as a system, the emotional network, and the questions at the end of each chapter that will make us ponder are helpful in stimulating the issues raised in the book. The book helps in giving a different perception of how we look at our problems in life and how to make the necessary changes so that the people around us and ourselves will not be affected.