Tag Archives: Gill Hornby

First Line Friday — Miss Austen

17 Jun

I have so much fun exploring independent bookstores! Last week I was in N Georgia and visited Book Bound Bookstore in Blairsville. What a jewel! Of course I had to buy a book, or two, or three . . . . One of those is today’s First Line Friday feature, Miss Austen by Gill Hornby. Along with not being able to pass by a bookstore or new books, I also cannot turn away an Austen knock-off. I can’t wait to read it.

Here’s the first line:

“Let us take that path.”

For fans of Jo Baker’s Longbourn, a witty, wonderfully original novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.

Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?

England, 1840. Two decades after the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury and the home of her family friends, the Fowles. In a dusty corner of the vicarage, there is a cache of Jane’s letters that Cassandra is desperate to find. 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? 

Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra’s vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane’s brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane’s life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine.