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The Jane Austen Project: A Novel Paperback – May 2, 2017
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"Flynn skillfully delves into the later years of Austen's life in a way that is sure to please admirers of the 19th-century novelist, as well as providing a fascinating dollop of plot invention and a heartbreaking romance between the two protagonists." Library Journal, Starred Review
"A creative and entertaining novel that addresses some interesting ideas while at the same time telling a cracking good story. " All About Romance
"This story had me spellbound from the first page." Austenesque Reviews
" It's a truth universally acknowledged that one novel couldn't possibly succeed as Austen pastiche, science fiction, romance, and satire all at once, but Flynn has achieved this feat, and has written an excessively diverting tale." Historical Novel Society
"Rachel's wry, observant narrative voice teaches readers the delights and hardships of life in 1815 with rich historical detail." Shelf Awareness
“Kathleen Flynn spins an entertaining story of time travel, complicated romantic connections and Austenalia in her debut novel, The Jane Austen Project...Witty, well-researched and thought-provoking, Flynn’s debut is a fun and unusual addition to the canon of Austen tributes and pastiche.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Written in an engaging Austen style, full of witty dialogue, a secret engagement, and a delightful clan of loving siblings” (Booklist)
“What lover of literature hasn’t dreamed of going back in time to meet Jane Austen? In her debut novel, Kathleen A. Flynn brings this dream to life, creating a vivid portrait of Regency England in all its glory and squalor. Flynn illuminates the stark contrasts between that era and our own, and movingly depicts the heartbreak of those who might try to travel between the two.” (Lauren Belfer, author of AFTER THE FIRE and A FIERCE RADIANCE)
“THE JANE AUSTEN PROJECT is clever, captivating, and original. I loved it and couldn’t put it down! It’s been a long time since I’ve been so engrossed in a novel, or lost so much sleep reading it. Who wouldn’t want to travel back in time and meet Jane Austen? Flynn’s depiction of Jane Austen is wonderful, exactly as I imagine she must have been. The ending is a shocker and one of the strengths of the novel. It presents a view of time travel—and history—you won’t soon forget. A keeper on my Austen shelf.” (Syrie James, author of JANE AUSTEN'S FIRST LOVE)
“I loved THE JANE AUSTEN PROJECT. Brilliantly written and a must-read for any Jane Austen fan!” (Paula Byrne, author of THE REAL JANE AUSTEN)
From the Back Cover
Two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane Austen and recover a suspected unpublished novel.
ENGLAND, 1815:Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.
Carefully selected and rigorously trained by the Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in—circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.
But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of nineteenth-century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it . . . however heartbreaking that may prove.
Top customer reviews
I often feel forced to choose between novels that are well-written, but filled with depressing themes and brutal realities, or trashy "beach" books that are insufferably bad. Remarkably, Flynn manages to avoid both these traps. The Jane Austen project combines all the literary rigor you'd expect from an author whose day job is editor at the New York Times, with all the fun of a novel that draws on the witty sensibility that has made Austen one of the most beloved novelists of all time.
It's actually hard to believe this is Flynn's first novel. I cannot wait to read her next.
Rachel or Mary, as she is known in the past, and William slide right into Jane Austen's world, becoming part of her society. The Austen's are delightful, , portrayed as a loving and diverse family, with jealousies, in-fighting, and family secrets. Jane's calming influence, her keen intellect, her wit and warmth bring the same humor as her famous characters. I loved them all, from her charming brother, to the pompous Cassandra, vividly illustrated with depth. Flynn uses a deft hand restraining from depicting them as cartoonish.
This is a romance between Jane Austen and the reader. Rachel and Liam are bystanders pulled into her orbit, influenced by the woman and her world, proving love, as well as Jane Austen is timeless.
This book is perfect for lovers of time travel and Jane Austen. I'm a huge Connie Willis fan and this shares similar elements to To Say Nothing of the Dog, minus the mystery and humor. Still, adding in Jane Austen made up for those two elements for me.
I gave this book five stars because I thoroughly enjoyed the reading and am likely to read it again. I look forward to more by this author!
her writing. The author certainly seemed knowledgeable and passionate about Jane Austen. I especially enjoyed the
dialogue she wrote for the characters. The beginning and especially the end of the book seemed somewhat convoluted,
It was almost like a different writer was trying to explain the logistics of the project. I didn't feel it was clearly narrated.
Other than those parts, I found the story quite compelling. I would actually give this book 3.5 stars.