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Publisher's Summary

Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: Two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.

London, 1815: Two travelers - Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane - arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem but rather colleagues who have come back in time from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters - a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren't the first team from the future to "go back", their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen's circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane's fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile the woman she is with the proper lady 19th-century society expects her to be. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it...however heartbreaking that may prove.

©2017 Kathleen A. Flynn (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Story

Fun But Lacking Character Depth

What made the experience of listening to The Jane Austen Project the most enjoyable?

The author clearly did significant research into the period, and did a good job of weaving historical factoids into the story. That gave it a certain richness in places that was quite enjoyable.

What about Saskia Maarleveld’s performance did you like?

She did well giving personality to some characters that were otherwise a bit flat.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I chose this book for an extended car trip (6 hours each way). I wasn't enthralled by the story, but content enough that I was satisfied for the drive. It did it's job, but I don't know if I'll listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

Flynn's writing is solid, but the book never really pushes that far above mediocre. For me, the big thing holding the book back from excellent was lack of character development. The writer was never really able to make me care very much about her creations, and some of their decisions were simply baffling. SPOILER: For example, the main character's decision to have a sexual relationship with a man posing as her brother, despite the fact discovery would ruin everything she's supposed to care about most. It was not only extremely dumb, but also seemingly out of character for someone whose biggest character trait thus far was their devotion to saving Jane and not screwing up her job/the time continuum. There were other things like that which made the characters and their decision making seems shallow. END SPOILER.All that being said, it's still much better than a lot of the Austen-related books pumped out in recent years. It's a good beach read—just don't expect a lot more than that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good-ish

I've fantasized about time travel, so glimpsing what daily life in 1815 would have been like was a blast. The details of Jane Austen's life, her friends and family, was the best part of the book. And yet it was easy to stop listening to, and I wasn't in a rush to pick it up again. The story of our main characters, the time travelers, just wasn't gripping. My mind wandered, and I'd have to back up. Though it had a fantastic premise, the book was strangely dull.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • H Price
  • Jackson, MIchigan
  • 05-18-17

Will There Be A Sequel?

Any additional comments?

In the feeling of Jodi Taylor's St Mary's series and the All Souls trilogy from Deborah Harkness, Kathleen A Flynn brings us a sweet, rich time travelling tale. Rachel, a humanitarian physician, and Liam, an actor-scholar, travel back to 1815 to save Jane Austen's letters to her sister Cassandra and possibly bring back her manuscript for a lost novel.<br/><br/>The story is a love letter to Austen -- the author's passion for Austen and her times helps bring the era to life. And I'm hoping for a sequel -- will Rachel and Liam return to the 19th century to explore the mystery surrounding the Bronte sisters? I certainly hope so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well worth the read

I really enjoyed this book. I read all genres but particularly like time travel books. This book made me want to go read Jane Austen’s books. It you like time travel it’s a novel approach
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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Excellent Premise & Writing Suffers With Disappointing Narrator

I already had this book in print and Kindle format, so I was excited to hear the audio version. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed the writing, reaearch and premise of this time travel back to meet Jane Austen, the audio performance was poor. Lack of range in terms of acting and giving each character a distinctive, different sound made it seen like Ms. Maarleveld was straining her vocal chords simply to speak. The constant grating quality was like listening to nails raking across a chalkboard. Her performance for the two lead characters (male and femake) were almost identical - making it hard to know who was talking. She was not consistent with the accents needed. Most of the time it sounded like she was losing her voice altogether. Not enjoyable listening by any means and I question why she was even retained as the narrator. Quite honestly, I will never purchase another book narrated by this person. She pretty much ruined a great book that I enjoyed in print.

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Fun Story ~ Well read

This was a sweet story. Very well done. More Jane Austen than Science Fiction but I enjoyed it very much. I did a one day marathon so I can say it certainly held my attention.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic summer listen!

Where does The Jane Austen Project rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was the perfect summer listen. All the fun and charm of a Jane Austen novel, with plenty of plot twists and modern sensibility bake din too. I literally could not wait to hear what happened, so I just kept listening.

What did you like best about this story?

Kathleen Flynn does an incredible job creating the language and dialogue that characterized 1815 English gentry. It feels completely natural.

Which character – as performed by Saskia Maarleveld – was your favorite?

The narration is superb. I read this book first and I definitely experienced it differently thanks to Maarleveld's ability to bring to life all the characters and accents. She is Maarvelous and this book is too. ;) Enjoy!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I love the whole premise of this book

Any additional comments?

I would love to travel back and meet Jane Austen..such a wonderful idea. The premise of going back for research reasons to get an unpublished book - even better! <br/>HOWEVER...my ONLY problem with this book is that they make the female lead basically a "loose" woman throwing a few "f" bombs around, sleeping with whoever will make her feel good. WHY oh why did they do this?? Take that aspect out of the book and I loved it. But man it's like a spot of rot and an otherwise ripe and beautiful piece of fruit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful