The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James
Published: December 31 2012
The minute I saw the letter, I knew it was hers. There was no mistaking it: the salutation, the tiny, precise handwriting, the date, the content itself, all confirmed its ancient status and authorship…
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.(
I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I loved The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I am a huge Jane Austen fan so I was just hoping that this would be an enjoyable book. What I did not expect was a captivating story that I had trouble putting down!
Samantha is revisiting England while her boyfriend is in medical conferences all day. As an American librarian who once attended Oxford it is no wonder she went shopping in a bookstore where she came across an old book of poetry. As she looks at her purchase she finds a letter that had been placed inside a long time ago. After reading the partial letter she starts to believe it was written by Jane Austen herself.
Following the clues in the letter she goes to a house called Grennbriar where she believes Jane may have lost a book she had written. After finally convincing Anthony, the new owner of the house, they start their search and they do discover more proof that the Austen family did in fact visit the house on several occasions. That discovery helps them to continue until they do find an old manuscript called The Stanhopes.
Samantha and Anthony start to read the book together in order figure out if it is a real Jane Austen novel. Samantha is of course excited about the discovery and wants to make sure it becomes available to everyone. Anthony though wants it to be real so that he can sell it to make money.
The Stanhopes manuscript really did sound like something Jane would have written and it was such an engaging story. I loved how the author let us ‘hear’ the story and how well it added to the plot between Samantha and Anthony. I recommend this book to any Jane Austen fan who is looking for a wonderful and lovely story to read!