Publisher and Publication Date: Flatiron Books. April 7, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction. Jane Austen spin-off.
Source: NetGalley ebook copy. I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of Jane Austen stories.
Rating: Very good.
Amazon. Kindle copy is currently $13.99
Gill Hornby has a Facebook author page but hasn’t posted since 2015. I’ve not found an author webpage.
For a preview of the book visit Austenprose.
Cassandra is the surviving sister of Jane Austen. The year is 1840. Cassandra travels to visit family with a mission to find Jane’s personal letters. Cassandra feels the need to protect Jane’s legacy in a positive way.
The time period is 1840, but will back up to the years when Jane Austen was living. Cassandra reflects on the memories of her sister, friend, and confidante.
First, I love the cover. I have strong opinions about covers. The front cover is simple, yet delicate and lovely.
I love the story! It’s easy for me to be drawn to a story that focuses on the love and loyalty between sisters. I have two older sisters and we are close. Also, this reminds me of the Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility. I love that story for the same reason: an emphasis on family and sisterhood.
Cassandra is a mature woman (older), and people see her differently. She hears comments made about her age and abilities. I love this perspective. An older woman dealing with physical limitations. An older woman dealing with people who are not always respectful and thoughtful. Her thoughts, feelings, and how she responds is apart of the story and I’m so glad.
Miss Austen reflects on the romantic relationships of Jane and Cassandra. It’s interesting to understand why they made certain decisions. It’s touching to read Cassandra’s grieving over past relationships. She is a quiet, stoic griever.
The older generation versus the younger generation is a strong element in the book. The differences in culture. The differences in how they view and relate to one another.
Miss Austen does not shine an only positive light on any of the Austen characters. They are shown with positive and negative words and behavior. This helps the story be believable, because it gave the characters imperfections.