Author: Kathleen A. Flynn
Publication Date: May 2017
Genre: Adult Fiction/Contemporary Literature
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from he publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t sure what to expect about a book about time traveling and Jane Austen. And I’m so glad I didn’t have any expectations because The Jane Austen Project pleasantly surprised me.
Rachel and Liam are two time travelers sent from their world back in time to steal a copy of Austen’s never before published manuscript The Watsons. To do this, they must infiltrate themselves into the Austen’s lives, starting with Jane’s brother Henry and onto their mother and Jane’s sister Cassandra, and finally to Jane herself.
This proves no easy task. With a mysterious backstory and a lot of money, Rachel (now known as Mary) and Liam (now known as William) must carefully step around old social norms, blending effortlessly into a long ago society, gaining Jane’s trust. At the same time, their portal back to their world is ready to retrieve them in one year’s time.
I really liked this book for so many reasons. First of all, Jane. I really liked how the author created Jane’s personality, kind and clever, suspicious and loyal. I think any Austen fan will appreciate the care it took for Flynn to create a Jane worthy of our imagination. The time period and world was fun and well detailed. I liked how it transported me to Jane’s time and how Rachel and Liam found themselves navigating very different social cultures, in a world that was so similar and so different to their own.
Leading me to Rachel and Liam. I did like them, and their challenge of fighting off their mutual attraction to each other. It was reminiscent to Pride & Prejudice a little bit, in a very careful and sweet way without it being hit over the head. Rachel is a modern woman, a doctor. But I don’t think I liked her. I think I was supposed to, and I was supposed to believe she was very intelligent. Something about her character didn’t resonate with me, though this did not prevent the from enjoying the book. Liam is a broody, quiet hero. I wish we had much more backstory. He is reluctant to say for most of the book and the glimpses we do get wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Overall, The Jane Austen Project is a very very fun time travel book. It will appeal to anyone who loves Austen, such as myself, and who enjoys a sweet romance and historical fiction.