Friday, May 01, 2020

Book Beginnings: Miss Austen

Miss Austen, by Gill Hornby (Flatiron Books, April 2020). 

Opening lines
"Let us take that path." 
He closed the garden door behind her and gestured toward the Elm Walk. She pulled her shawl close and drank a deep draft of the new, green air. The year was 1795, and the day seemed to assume itself to be the first of that spring. Birds high in the oak tree sang out their relief; a new stickiness shone from the twigs. Together they walked up the slope at the back of the rectory, through the gap in the hedgerow and there — out of sight of her family — he stopped and took her hand.

About the Book
England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancĂ©, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames? (Publisher's description)

Initial Thoughts

There seem to be several books out right now with Jane Austen as a character or theme. I'm usually a bit wary of that sort of historical fiction, but this one sounds more interesting than most. Got my copy from GoodReads in one of their giveaways, and I really should have read it by now. Running slow (as usual), but I'm eager to get started on it.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. I am intrigued by the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have read several retelling's of Jane Austen's novels, but never a book with her as a character! I'm intrigued by this one :)
    Konna @ The Reading Armchair


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