What’s the right way? Neither romantic illusions, nor Victorian repression, nor modern cynicism.  Instead, Kantor writes, women need to understand the real meaning of love and happiness — and settle for nothing less.

Sprinkled throughout the book are “Tips” for “Janeites,” little nuggets of good advice, like these:

  • “Stop making the same old bad choices about men before those choices ‘fix’ your character, freezing you into habits you may not be able to break out of.”
  • “Drama is not the same thing as love.” (Who really wants a Kardashian-style relationship?)
  • “Keep your distance, not to increase his love by suspense—but so you can make up your mind about a man while you can still see him clearly.” (An important point for a generation that too easily moves from the bar to the bedroom to sharing an apartment.)

At the end of each chapter, Kantor frames questions to help readers assess their own relationships. In easy to read bullet points, she helps women probe the strengths and weaknesses of their current relationships. And in true Jane Austen style, she urges them to have the boldness to “arrange their own marriages” — to choose wisely and decide fearlessly if a relationship is likely to secure a happy future.

And the Jane Austen promise? That love and happiness go together: women can live “happily ever after” marriages if they recognize, expect, and pursue true love.

Share The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After with your daughters – and all the single women you know.

c. 2012 Rebecca Hagelin, www.howtosaveyourfamily.com.

Publication date: April 19, 2012