Book: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
Genre: Science fiction + historical fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication date: 2017
Source: e-book borrowed from the library
Summary: Rachel and Liam arrive from the future to a field in England in 1815 with plans to meet Jane Austen, recover a completed version of her unfinished novel called The Watsons, and copy the missing letters that Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra. But none of that can happen if they don’t manage to find clothes to wear, a residence, and a place in polite society without giving themselves away as impostors.
Thoughts: Since this is a book blog, I’m glad that I finished a book with a title that worked in my A to Z Challenge while I was writing my posts.
The Jane Austen Project delighted me in the same way that Connie Willis’s books did. I read Doomsday Book during my trip to England in 2014 — so that one’s always going to hold a special place in my heart. I enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog and I adored the big World War II story that took two books to tell: Blackout and All Clear.
For some reason, I thought I didn’t like time travel books. Since I’ve enjoyed Connie Wills and, now, The Jane Austen Project, I guess I’ll have to re-evaluate. Perhaps, I like stories that tilt less toward fantasy and more toward science fiction.
Like in Willis’s books, The Jane Austen Project posits a future that will allow humans to travel back to our past. Of course, there are all kinds of concerns about what that could do to their history and their present. But what fascinates me more are how humans in our future interact with the heroes and cope with the events of our past.
In The Jane Austen Project, Rachel and Liam spend time in London and Hampshire in 1815 and 1816. The historical Jane Austen visited the Prince Regent’s library in late 1815 and published Emma which sold well. The first draft of The Elliots, later published as Persuasion, was completed in the summer of 1816. I really enjoyed spending time in these locations at that time period through this novel.
Appeal: The Jane Austen Project will appeal to Jane Austen fans, naturally, but there are also elements for lovers of science fiction and historical fiction. Try it if you love historical romance novels.
Have you read this book? What did you think?