This book I have mixed feelings about and that makes me sad. I am a lover of all things Jane Austen, until someone tries a little too hard. This is a great mystery and has kind of two parts to it. There is a part where its in the present that I love, but there is another part where the author tries to write like Austen that I didn't quite like. I loved this book because it leaves open that maybe there are some undiscovered works out there by Jane Austen that draws, a lover of Jane, like me, into the little mystery web. Plus the cover is just so unique and it was actually drew me to the book sitting on the shelf.
The summary, taken from the back cover, goes as follows.....
"Samantha McDonough cannot believe her eyes- or her luck. Tucked in an uncut page of two-hundred-year-old poetry book is a letter that she believes was written by Jane Austen, mentioning with regret a manuscript that "went missing at Greenbriar in Devonshire." Could there really be an undiscovered Jane Austen novel waiting to be found? Could anyone resist the temptation to go looking for it? Making her way to the beautiful, centuries-old Greenbriar estate, Samantha finds it no easy task to sell its owner, the handsome yet uncompromising Anthony Whitaker, on her wild idea of searching for a lost Austen work- until she mentions its possible multimillion-dollar value. After discovering the unattributed manuscript, Samantha and Anthony are immediately absorbed in the story of Rebecca Stanhope, daughter of a small-town rector, who is about to encounter some bittersweet truths about life and love. As they continue to read the newly discovered tale from the past, a new one unfolds in the present- a story that just might change both their lives forever."
Samantha is a Jane Austen scholar who finds an old letter belonging to Jane Austen by chance. When she meets Anthony Whitaker, owner of the house she wants to search, she runs into a sang until she mentions what Anthony really wants...money. When they find the manuscript they take turns reading out loud, which the reader can read along right with them. Syrie James goes back and forth between the manuscript and the characters reading it so the reader can see their reactions to this lost story. Samantha thinks it should be published for Austen lovers everywhere to enjoy, while Anthony wants to sell it and make millions from it. These two butt heads and the things Samantha says to Anthony are at times hilarious. Can Samantha talk Anthony into doing the right thing by Jane Austen or will the want of money over rightness rule it all? Read "The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen" to find out that answer.
Rating: I give this book 3.5/5 portraits of Jane Austen