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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
You don't have to be a Jane Austen expert to enjoy this book. You just need to be in the mood for a page-turning, romantic story filled with warm characters, great passions, enjoyable language, and a terrific plot. And it's to James's credit that her novel reads a lot like -- what else? -- a classic Austen novel.
In the novel's foreword, a fictitious editor discloses that Austen's memoirs have recently been discovered. Jane's memoirs, she says, prove that Austen had a secret romance of her own in her 30s. In the following pages, readers are treated to an imaginative rendition of an initial encounter and subsequent romance between Jane, who longs to be a published writer but doubts her own abilities, and Mr. Ashford, a man who both loves and believes in her. Along the way, our fictitious editor offers suggestions -- in the form of footnotes -- that this love affair inspired many of Austen's characters and plotlines. And readers can't help but wonder, Wouldn't it be great to know Jane had such a person in her life? No, you don't have to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. But be prepared -- you'll want to read (or reread) all of her novels once you finish this ingenious and delightful book. (Spring 2008 Selection)