The Jane Austen Project: A Novel by Kathleen Flynn…a wee review…spoiler alert

Time travelers, a man/actor and a woman/doctor, go back in time to meet Jane Austen and steal/get/photograph her unpublished manuscript and the letters she wrote to her sister. The doctor also wants to find out what actually killed her and if there’s something she can do about it. Sounds like fun, right? The time travelers have studied/learned/practiced pretty much everything that will allow them to fit into Jane’s world.  They appear and go about setting up their lives as brother and sister, with a believable backstory and counterfeit money, so they can live in the same well appointed house and still be appropriate to the time line.  The book explains every step they take to ingratiate themselves into society and into Mr. Austen’s (Jane’s brother)  life, so they can meet Jane because you can’t just meet someone without an introduction, especially a woman.

The travelers believe they are not supposed to change anything in the timeline which, of course, is impossible.  The time travelers fall in love, some of the characters fall in love with them, we find out how horrifically sexist and yukky it is to live during that period of time but if you hang around long enough you hardly notice, the key word being hardly.  It’s an earthy time period, smells rich and loamy, as well as horsey among other natural things.

They mention the fact that they may never get back to their own lives, since other travelers have been lost in time before them. Some have returned, some returned insane but keep in mind that they may not go back to where they originally came from…kind of like going through a wormhole.  Anyway, I won’t tell you the details that take place throughout the book but it’s slow reading and the ending is silly and abrupt.

If you’re an Austen fan you’ll probably want to read it but while it’s getting good reviews, believe me when I say it’s a drawn out story.  However, like everything else, that’s just my opinion.  Other people apparently love it.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t like it all that much.  Check it out Austen fans…I mean ya kind of have to, don’t you?

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