‘Love & Jane’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happens To Lilly?

Love & Jane by David Weaver hints towards the escapist nature of literature, and I do not mean this as a bad thing. Escapism, as I believe it to be, is an innate facet of our human nature. A manifestation of our self-preservationist instincts, ‘escapism,’ despite the negative connotations people attach to it, has been the very reason why art came into the picture. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I do think that the escapist nature of mankind is what more or less birthed creativity. Perhaps David Weaver tried to address the character’s escapist nature in Love & Jane. Jane Austen’s works are considered quite intellectual today, but back in the hyper-conservative British Regency era, they served as an escape for women, hinting at equal rights for women and satirizing the patriarchal status quo. While not inherently a feminist, Jane’s work did walk the line between realism and escapism, and again, I think the definitions are not exclusive. After all, language is descriptive and not prescriptive. While the movie is kind of a dud, it’s still an interesting watch, seeing Lilly being caught up in her dreams and struggling with the problems of the world. I do not expect much when I watch romantic dramas, to begin with, but isn’t that the whole point? Escaping the reality of our lonely lives (scoff).


Spoiler Ahead

What Is The Plot About?

Lilly Thorpe is a book nerd; wait, let me correct that; she is a Jane Austen fangirl. Her appreciation and fascination for Jane Austen’s life and works know no bounds. She runs a Jane Austen club as the president at an English pub along with her friend and colleague Alisha. It’s as if Jane Austen has brought meaning to her life; however, outside the world of literature, her life is not particularly enticing. Lilly has been trying to finish her novel for years but has found herself stuck in writer’s block. She works as a copywriter at an advertising firm in Boston, which she finds understimulating. She is dating Martin, a litigator at a law firm that is transferring him to Chicago. Martin asks her to come along with him and get married, even offering to take her to London to see Jane Austen’s house. Preferring to pursue these aspirations through her own accomplishments and reflecting upon the ideas of her own identity represented in Jane’s books, Lilly rejects Martin. 


How Does Lilly Start Seeing Jane Austen? 

Feeling guilty, she returns home, throwing her manuscripts into the trashcan, doubting her own abilities as a writer. Asking for Austen’s wisdom, she passes out, clinging to one of her novels. The next morning, she wakes up to a strange woman in Georgian attire staring at her face. After a brief panic, she identifies this apparition as Jane Austen, who suddenly disappears into thin air. 

Baffled by this hallucination, being a rational person, Lilly hits up Alisha, asking if she has been exhibiting any strange behavior, but Alisha denies it. She sees this woman again the same evening when she returns home and engages in a conversation with her. This woman clears Lilly’s doubts, agreeing that she indeed is Jane Austen. It seems Lilly’s mind is conjuring Jane Austen, whom she deems a figure of inspiration and wisdom. Especially at a time in Lilly’s life when she needs guidance, this figure appears to help. Even though Lilly acknowledges she is seeing Jane Austen, she has a feeling that it’s her mind playing tricks on her.


Who Is Trevor Fitzsimmons?

Trevor is an IT entrepreneur who has recently bought Scribblers, an old bookstore that Lilly loves to visit. She first meets Trevor at the bookstore when she is buying a Jane Austen book that she already has; however, Trevor reaches for it at the same time, claiming that the book has been bought online. This infuriates Lilly, triggering her hate for the internet. The second time she meets him is at her workplace. Trevor is working with her agency to expand his brand for book lovers. With this expansion, Trevor’s business would be able to provide people access to books from the comfort of their homes, but Lilly sees this as an act against people who love going to bookstores, believing that this would put an end to bookstores altogether. However, her boss appoints Lilly and Alisha to work on the marketing campaign. When the owner of the pub where she holds her book club meetings decides to shut down, Trevor offers to organize the meetings at his bookstore instead, which Lilly reluctantly agrees to. After the meeting later that week, Trevor and Lilly converse for a bit, where he expresses his opposing opinions about Pride and Prejudice being one-dimensional and predictable. This infuriates Jane Austen, which prompts Lilly to defend her works with ingenuity, silencing Trevor. Lilly asks Trevor about what he is doing in a bookstore, working like a clerk while he has a company to look after. He confesses his own love for books and says that his mother was a librarian. It was at this moment that Lilly and Trevor felt a spark of interest in each other but refrained from addressing it. 

How Does Lilly’s Life Change After Jane Austen’s Arrival?

Lilly had a rather mundane life and wanted to write books like the writer she so dearly idolized but hadn’t been able to do so. With Jane Austen’s arrival in Lilly’s life, she finds a new purpose all over again. This encourages her to finish the manuscript, which she has been stalling for all those years. Jane’s emphasis on the importance of finding romance and moving forward with her own career aspirations has a rather profound impact on Lilly. She runs into Trevor again after celebrating the completion of her novel. Seeing him carry a copy of Pride and Prejudice, she inquires about the novel, and Trevor admits that he hadn’t read it properly the first time. Trevor and Lilly go on a walk, bonding over their love for books and mutual quirks as this walk turns into a date of sorts. 


A few days later, after spending a movie night with Jane watching a movie adaptation of one of her books, she wakes up to find an email from a publisher regarding her manuscript. It turns out that Jane sent the mail to the publisher, while I prefer to think that it was her own subconscious self. Either way, she sets up a meeting with a representative from the publisher. The meeting goes quite well until the publisher reveals that the company was recently acquired by Trevor Fitzsimmons. She confronts Trevor about this, who confesses that he did acquire the company because he got to know about their interest in Lilly’s book. He adds that he couldn’t pass up on the business opportunity that acquiring this publication would provide, given the nature of his own company. However, explaining that she wants her book to be published on her own merits, Lilly rejects the offer, hinting that she doesn’t want a person who thinks 10 steps ahead in his own fantasies and then, at another moment, is here with her. 

What Happens To Lilly In The End?

At the following Jane Austen book club meeting, Lilly is rather distracted, thinking about what she said earlier to Trevor. She herself has been in a fantasy, which has held her back from achieving her dreams. This realization makes her quit her post as the president of the club and go to London to visit Jane’s house; however, her club members wonder if she is distracted because of a man. In a rather cheesy manner, Trevor walks in on the meeting, confessing his feelings for Lilly. Lilly’s words from earlier had made him think about his ways and how he thought of every opportunity through a business mindset. However, he realized that Lilly was the one who made him feel this way. Hearing his words, the members of the club encourage Lilly to give Trevor a chance, which convinces her to take this shot at falling in love with him. Upon returning home, she talks to Jane one last time before she disappears. 


This apparition had been there in front of her whenever she was clueless. Jane’s arrival made her recognize a lack of balance in her life. She had spent the majority of her life cooped up within this frame of Jane Austen’s literary works, which even protected her from the outside world. Even though it was an escape for her, she needed to face reality, and that’s when Jane Austen came into her life. She reminded Lilly that the only way we may move forward in life is to actually face reality, which is what Lilly did. Because of this, Lilly now has a book and a lover that she adores as well. 

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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