'So good, so intelligent, so clever, so entertaining - I adored it.' CLAIRE TOMALIN
A wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel that delves into why Cassandra burned a treasure trove of letters written by her sister, Jane Austen - an act of destruction that has troubled academics for centuries.
1840: twenty three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury, and the home of her family's friends, the Fowles.
She knows that, in some dusty corner of the sprawling vicarage, there is a cache of family letters which hold secrets she is desperate should not be revealed.
As Cassandra recalls her youth and her relationship with her brilliant yet complex sister, she pieces together buried truths about Jane's history, and her own. And she faces a stark choice: should she act to protect Jane's reputation? Or leave the contents of the letters to go unguarded into posterity ...
Based on a literary mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics, Miss Austen is a wonderfully original and emotionally complex novel about the loves and lives of Cassandra and Jane Austen.
'The perfect book to wrap yourself around on a dark night' STYLIST
'The great joy of Miss Austen is that the reader feels immersed in a world that is convincingly Jane's from the first page. Miss Austen is a novel of great kindness, often unexpectedly moving, with much to say about the status of "invisible" older women. Above all, it's concerned with the triumph of small acts of goodness; you can't help feeling that Jane would have approved.' OBSERVER
'Without romanticising its period setting or underplaying the precariousness of any woman's position in this society, it celebrates unexamined lives, sisterhood and virtues such as kindness and loyalty' SUNDAY TIMES
(c) Gill Hornby 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020