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GUEST REVIEW: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie...

Dear Jane,

Book CoverI just read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. It’s a ‘what if‘ story. ‘What if‘ Jane Austen had experienced romantic love. After all these years, how would we find out about her ill-fated romance? When and where could it have happened? Who would have been her love? Why didn’t Jane have her own happily-ever-after?

I have to tell you, Jane, this book answers every one of those questions in a completely believable way. Syrie James uses Jane’s real life travels, letters, and interactions to tell us a story that not only leaves you believing ‘it could have happened’, but wishing ‘oh, if she couldn’t have it all, I hope she had this’.

The story is written as Jane’s journal. Through it we are introduced to not only, my dear Mr. Ashton, but her large and loving family, as well as fictitious characters who are incorporated into Miss Austen’s work. We learn so much about Jane; from her love of country life to her struggles with her inner demons.

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen is a very easy read (I set it down once thinking I was on page thirty something, when I picked it up again a few hours later, I discovered I’d actually reached page ninety-seven). I was wholly engaged from beginning to end.

I know you end your reviews with a letter grade, I don’t believe I have the background as a writer to accurately do that, but I will tell you when I closed the cover (the very tactilely pleasing cover) of this book, I felt as though I’d made a friend.

If I didn’t say it before, thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s been such fun.



Guest Reviewer


  1. LinM
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 18:44:52

    A “Dear Jane” letter – woohoo! When Jane first mentioned this book, I assumed that it was another book based on Austen characters and novels and I usually avoid those. If I loved the original novel, the “fanfic” books make me cranky.

    However, your review made this book sound interesting and it’s not about Austen’s characters so my cranky meter is quiet. I put this book on my request list at the library. I’ll read this, and the Austen biography by Carol Shields, and watch the Colin Firth P&P which I have never seen. Fun times ahead.

  2. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, by Syrie James – A Review « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 01:58:00

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