The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn
This book gave me all the feels! I was very sorry to see this novel come to an end. It was exciting, entertaining, surprisingly sexy, and very creative.
I have been a Jane Austen fan my whole life, but it’s been many years since I read one of her books (or watched a movie adaptation). It was lovely to be re-immersed in her life. The novel plunges the reader into the sights, sounds, and smells of England in the early 1800s, and it’s even more interesting that we get to view this world from the eyes of foreigner who only has her research to guide her.
While the idea of two time travelers from the future (beyond 2017) going back to London in 1815 is a big concept, the author pulls it off convincingly. The story successfully meshes elements from different genres: historical fiction, romance, and science fiction. I loved getting both details of the imagined future as well as the past of the Austens. The time travelers also had to be aware of the fact that their actions in the past might create a change in the future (their present), a scary possibility which looms over their choices. The entire book felt like an “event”, extremely imaginative and well thought-out.
It was fun getting a modern point of view of the customs and morals of the early 1800s. Rachel, our main character, is a smart and realistic narrator who gives careful thought to her actions, yet makes human mistakes. I found her very relatable, and all of the secondary characters were fascinating and well-drawn. Overall, this was a very impressive debut novel!