Books Magazine

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James - My Review

By Mariagrazia @SMaryG

THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT OF JANE AUSTEN BY SYRIE JAMES - MY REVIEW The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is an awesome new book by Syrie James, author of bestselling novels like  The Lost Memoirs Of Jane Austen, Dracula My Love, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Nocturne  and Forbidden. Due to release on 31st December, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a  novel within a novel :  a brilliant Austen-style Regency tale inside a lovely modern romance. I must admit that with this new novel Syrie James has surpassed herself and moved forward even respect to a successful achievement like The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. She did a brilliant job both at delivering a well-designed plot echoing Jane Austen’s voice - but modernizing it for a present-day audience -  and at enclosing it in an intriguing frame of quest and romance. Samantha is an American librarian who had to give up her Ph D in English Literature while preparing a dissertation on Jane Austen’s work. She was forced to interrupt her studies in Oxford and go back to home   in order to take care of her seriously ill mother. Now she is on a trip in England with her cardiologist boyfriend, Stephen. Since he is  engaged in a  medical conference in London,  she spends her time alone visiting the places of her happy years at Oxford university and while perusing old little bookshops in search for something interesting, she happens to find an ancient book of poetry containing a letter. The book reveals itself as belonging to Jane Austen  and inside it there is one of her missing letters.  Even more extraordinary is the fact that in that letter Jane refers to a manuscript she lost in 1802 visiting Greenbriar, the Whitakers’ mansion in the countryside, in Dorset.
Samantha can’t resist, she must look for  that place, visit it and  discover more. She has just a few days but she can’t renounce her quest.  Greenbriar belongs now to Anthony Whitaker, who doesn’t actually welcome her and her research at first. But when they start searching the huge library in the house together, they not only find clues of Jane Austen’s presence there in July 1801 and July 1802   but,  well hidden in a secret compartment of one of the  cabinets,  they discover “The Stanhopes”,  Jane’s missing 336-page-long manuscript, split  up into 42 booklets. They plunge   in  a long almost non-stop reading session, both caught  in Rebecca and her father’s stories, The Stanhopes. Rebecca’s world is incredibly Jane Austen’s world. So many of the characters there might well have been written by Austen herself. The story opens with the unfortunate events in the   quiet life of a village vicar, Rev. Stanhope.  He gets cast out of his parish, home and livelihood on a charge of gambling away church funds by his rich patron who substitutes him with his own nephew, Mr Philip Clifton.   Rebecca, the reverend’s beautiful and musically gifted daughter cannot believe her father may have done something like that and she despises the young clergyman stealing their home and life.   Nevertheless, until her father’s innocence can be proven, father and daughter must embark on an exile during which they must rely  on  the charity of relatives. False impressions and false friends, handsome rogues and selfish antagonists  make “The Stanhopes” an incredible gripping story and when Anthony and Samantha take breaks while reading , you may find yourself longing for them to re-start as soon as possible! Anyhow, both story-lines are brilliantly coped with and together they give life to an excellent page-turner . I was equally interested in each one of the tales: present-day Samantha dealing with her feelings, aspirations, loyalties and her fondness for everything Austen and Regency heroine, Rebecca Stanhope with her misadventures through difficult times. In designing “The Stanhopes”,  Syrie James used Austen’s “Plan of a Novel”, the notes  for a book Jane  never came to write and consequently  we never came  to read.  Syrie James gave those notes a chance to become a real story and I especially appreciated her  ability in creating  the myriad   of amazing Austen-inspired characters and so many exciting  twists and turns reminding the best Austen tradition. Watch out for this novel. If you love this genre, it’ll be one of your favorite reads in 2013! (You can pre-order The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen HERE)
N.B. Syrie James will be my guest on January 2nd with a very special post and there will be a giveaway contest for a copy of this book. Stay tuned.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Australopithecus Sediba: Early Human Or Ancient Ape?

    Australopithecus sediba is a South African member of the human family that lived about 1.9 million years ago. And that's about all we can say for sure about... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Reprieve
    BIOLOGY, SCIENCE
  • What to Do About a Lack of Energy on Low Carb?

    What About Lack Energy Carb?

    Is a low-carb diet appropriate for someone who has had gastric-bypass surgery? Can you lose weight on low carb while taking insulin? And what to do about a... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Comic Performer-turned-painter The Iceman Suddenly Outsells Van Gogh.

    Comic Performer-turned-painter Iceman Suddenly Outsells Gogh.

    The Artist formerly known as The Iceman: a brush with fameI have blogged before about the comic performance artist legend that is The Iceman. Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Thejohnfleming
    CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT
  • My Ramadan Baby

    Ramadan Baby

    I remember the day like it was yesterday. The Islamabad sun, hot and bright, burned down on my mom and I as we walked to the hospital with my first-born -... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Marilyngardner5
    RELIGION, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Stories from the Stacks Vol. 2: “Unidentified”

    Stories from Stacks Vol. “Unidentified”

    Contributed by Stacy Young, University of Akron student/CCHP Student Assistant.CCHP: What led you to us?SY: I previously attended the Museums and Archives... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Chp
    HEALTH, HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY
  • Spectre – Bond’s Navy Suit

    Spectre Bond’s Navy Suit

    Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre (2015).VitalsDaniel Craig as James Bond, British government agentMorocco, November 2015Film: Spectre Release Date:... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Nguzan
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO
  • Should You #Golf With Better Players?

    Should #Golf With Better Players?

    Do you immediately feel anxious when approached by a single golfer or couple who wants to join you for the round? Chances are, you may have been with your... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS

Magazines