The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
By Syrie James
(Berkley Publishing Group, Paperback, 9780425253366, 422pp.)
Publication Date: December 31, 2012
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Samantha McDonough cannot believe her eyes--or her luck. Tucked in an uncut page of a two-hundred-year old poetry book is a letter 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 million 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 of their lives forever.
- The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a novel within a novel. How do you feel about James's pacing in building Samantha's present-day storyline and then switching back to Austen's missing manuscript? Were you equally invested in each story? Would the book have been equally effective if The Stanhopes had been a stand-alone novel?