Review by Christina Boyd
It’s every Austenite’s dream of discovering a lost manuscript by Jane Austen—nay—to travel back in time and meet the great author! In The Jane Austen Project our world has recovered from the apocalypse and is super high tech—from creating food via 3D machines to time travel. When a letter by Austen has been discovered stating she has finished her novel The Watsons (and all we’ve ever known is the existing few chapters), two Austen fans, an accomplished writer/actor and a medical doctor, are selected to travel back in time to befriend Austen and find that completed manuscript...with the caveat, do nothing that might change the future. But how is that possible—and what are the consequences resulting from their activities in 1815 when (if) they return back to the future? Further, our time travelers are charming and believable, and their interaction with each other and the Austens sets a fast pace that had me anxious and cheering well into the wee hours. Jane Austen died at 42 from some unconfirmed but highly speculated illness, leaving only Six major works in her canon. That her sister Cassandra burned much of her correspondence only fuels the intrigue surrounding Austen, giving fans through the ages much to ponder about her personal life and her plot and character inspirations. Who hasn’t dreamt of going back in time and meeting Austen to try and answer some of these unknowns? The Jane Austen Project is an edgy contemporary intrigue that fulfills just such a fantasy. Flynn should absolutely consider writing a Bronte time travel. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finally read it.