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The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
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The Jane Austen Project

by Kathleen A. Flynn

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Colleagues Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane have been sent on the most ambitious mission of their time travel institute since its inception: travel back to 1815 and enmesh themselves in the lives of the Austens in order to rescue a copy of "The Watsons," which due to a recently discovered letter has been proven to be completed rather than a fragment. However, while working their way into the lives of the family they must grapple with the question of whether there are other things they could change and what the repercussions would be.

I really enjoyed this historical science fiction novel. Flynn does an excellent job of creating a believable Jane Austen that is in line with the historical record we have. She also creates really compelling characters in Rachel and Liam although I found Liam too much of a Darcy-esque enigma and the ending a bit to quick, even if it is an homage to Austen's works. This is definitely light on the science fiction element - there isn't a lot of detail about the logistics of time travel but everything makes sense within the world. High appeal for Janeites, of course, but also for fans of historical fiction or time travel novels. ( )
  MickyFine | Nov 9, 2018 |
My ebook viewer lists only 6 Jane Austen Novels, not 17. What a bitter disappointment. ( )
  cogitno | Oct 18, 2018 |
This is a mash-up of different genres that shouldn't work together at all, but debut novelist Kathleen A. Flynn manages to make it all work. Rachel is a doctor working in the crisis zones of a world where things have gone badly wrong. There's been a "die-off" of species and each new environmental disaster brings new hardships. She's an avid reader of Austen's novels, so when she hears about a project to time travel back and obtain a novel that Austen never published, she applies and is accepted to be part of the team traveling to Regency England. Rachel is an entirely modern woman, who has created an independent life for herself. It's an adjustment learning how a woman in the nineteenth conducts herself and it isn't helped by pairing her with a stand-offish British actor. They pose as a brother and sister newly arrived in London after selling their plantation in Jamaica, and intend to become friends with Jane Austen's favorite brother, as a way of being introduced to Jane and from there to steal her manuscript.

Somehow this mix of modern chick-lit, dystopian time travel speculative fiction, historical novel about the life of Jane Austen and gentle romance all work wonderfully together. Flynn has done her research, on what life was like in early nineteenth century England, on Jane Austen's life and in thoroughly thinking through the time travel aspect of the tale. This isn't a story that hand-waves away the logistics and consequences of time travel, but wrestles with all of that in a very satisfying way. Rachel is an engaging narrator, being entirely modern and out-spoken in her thoughts, but careful to behave appropriately. My only minor quibble is the reverence with which Jane Austen is treated. I'm not sure any human being could be as relentlessly perfect as this version of Austen. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Jul 29, 2018 |
Intriguing concept! -- In the near future, two people -- an actor/professor Liam Finucane and doctor Rachel Katzman -- are sent back in time to Georgian England as brother and sister from Jamaica, Dr. William and Mary Ravenswood. Their mission is to locate the completed manuscript of a Jane Austen novel, as well as any letters that may have been written between Jane and her elder sister Cassandra. They manage to insert themselves into the life of Jane's brother Henry in the hopes of eventually meeting Jane and obtaining the material. Their plan succeeds -- to a degree they might not otherwise have imagined -- but there are inevitable complications: will Liam and Rachel act upon the mutual attraction they feel? What distortions in the time continuum are they creating by interacting with the Austen family and their circle? Will they be able to get back to their home world? -- Very enjoyable, though not, perhaps, the final word in historical fiction. Still, the conclusion, where our heroes discover they are returning to a very different world from the one they left, is quite satisfying. ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
This was an imaginative and enjoyable book but at times I thought it was slow going. I also wanted to know more about thw world world that the main characters found when they came back from their time travel trip, and, in effect, rescuing Jane Austen. It just seemed an abrupt end to me. I was happy they found each other again but how were they going to settle back together ina world that was subtly different as a result of their actions with Austen and her family. ( )
  phyllis2779 | May 16, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathleen A. Flynnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brody, SaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Go, go, go said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

-- T. S. ELIOT, "BURNT NORTON"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062651250, Paperback)

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 nineteenth-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.

 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:26:25 -0500)

"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"--… (more)

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