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The Jane Austen Project

by Kathleen A. Flynn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4234352,491 (3.89)58
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and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.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 But diagnosing Jane's fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie.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.    … (more)
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» See also 58 mentions

English (42)  Dutch (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
I loved the idea of this book. Jane Austen and time travel in the same book? What could be more awesome?
I did enjoy it, but not as much as I expected to. The more I got to know the narrator Rachel, the less I liked her, and the love story seemed to come out of nowhere. Still, for some reason, probably because I was drawn into the romance like a sucker, I was pulling for Rachel in the end. But I have to agree with other reviewers who have a problem with how abruptly it ended.
I liked the idea of new realities being created by time travel. I wouldn't have minded if she had spent a little more time on it. And I love that they saved Jane Austen.
Ultimately, a bit disappointing, but Austen fanatics still might want to check it out.
( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
There was a moment in the beginning of the book when a sentence made me stop reading and smile because I recognized a name and the sentence made me realize that the author has read my favorite book; Possession by A.S. Byatt. I will even quote the sentence: A statue of the poet Randolph Henry Ash, which had long stood in a traffic circle in Hampstead, had disappeared overnight, along with all records of its creation. The poet Randolph Henry Ash is one of the main characters in Possession and I thought this makes sense, someone has traveled back in time changed history so now we have no recollection of Randolph Henry Ash. The reason I thought so is that I think Randolph Henry Ash is one of the best poets ever, and he has never ever lived!

Anyway, I got a bit sidetracked by my love for Possession. Back to The Jane Austen Project. This book is fabulous, one thing that I truly loved with it was it really dealt with the consequences of traveling back in time, The changes it brings to the future. This is something that Rachel, the book's narrator ponders over during the books progress. How their presence will change history. Even small things can have big consequences as the ending will show.

Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane mission are to steal a manuscript from Jane Austen. But, befriending Jane has its consequences. Especially Rachel finds it hard to just play a role and try to find a moment to steal the manuscript. Rachel starts to like Jane, and as a doctor, she also starts to think about saving Janes life, but that would truly have consequences...

The Jane Austen Project is one of the best books I have read about time travel. I adore the beautiful cover and I found the story engrossing.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
A good, solid piece of Jane Austen fanfic. The time travel element was well framed. A non-spoiler example: the time travelers were sent back well trained in the expectations and skills they would need to pass off in their chosen roles. There wasn't a lot of depth -- I didn't come away from this with any new insights into Jane Austen or her works -- but it was an enjoyable read. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Rachel Katzman lives in a future version of our world where time travel is possible. She and Liam Finucane are about to embark on a project to go to 1815; their goal is to collect Jane Austen's letters to her sister, Cassandra, and the manuscript of The Watsons. Liam is a bit of a puzzle to Rachel, who is a doctor; he is a nonfiction writer with an acting background. Their strengths complement each other once they arrive in 1815 and set up house, trying to befriend Henry Austen before Jane comes to town. They become more enmeshed in the Austen family than they could have predicted, and suspect that they have begin to change the future as well, but it's not clear how much until they return to the present.

See also: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

Quotes

It was a strange feeling to know his future: distracting and a little melancholy. (62)

I reminded myself of a character in a Jane Austen novel...divided from the person I most needed to see, reliant on chance or the actions of others to bring us together. (94)

To survive as a woman here and remain sane, it was essential to have a healthy sense of the ridiculous... (164)

We are just vessels. The art is eternal. (266)

Weren't we all like this, dragging around scraps of the past that didn't fit, incompletely overwritten versions of ourselves, always hopeful that someday we'd figure things out and put them right?
But we never do. And what instead? (366) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 19, 2022 |
Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane are sent back to 1815 England to find and retrieve the completed The Watsons novel of Jane Austen, and find the correspondence destroyed by Cassandra Austen. What could go wrong, and much could they change the future.
An enjoyable well-written story. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flynn, Kathleen A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maarleveld, SaskiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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"
Dedication
To Jarek
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What kind of maniac travels in time?
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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.    

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Book description
England, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team of time travelers, their mission is the most audacious yet: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen.

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 except their extraordinary circumstances. 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 convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of 19th century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history as they found it…however heartbreaking that proves.
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