I 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.