The Jane Austen Project (Paperback)
I enjoyed the combination of sci fi, historical fiction, and literary exploration. I was dropped into 1815 and saw it through the eyes of two researchers from the future who love Jane Austen's work. They've been sent to find and bring back the completed manuscript of "The Watsons" because only part of it has made it to the future. Flynn's pacing and detailed descriptions echo Austen's style, but there's more humor, philosophical comments, and sex than what you'd expect of Jane Austen. Actually, Jane and her family are quite different from how critics usually describe them. The ending was satisfying in its description of what happens in the future because of this expedition. The romance between the two main characters has a happy ending, but what else would you expect in a Jane Austen novel?
— From Barb's Picks
Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.
London, 1815: Two travelers--Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane--arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem, but rather colleagues who have come back in time 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But diagnosing Jane's fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie.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 the woman she is with the proper lady nineteenth-century society expects her to be. 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.