First Impressions

First Impressions

A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen

Book - 2015
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A thrilling literary mystery costarring Jane Austen from the New York Times -bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale. Charlie Lovett's new book, The Lost Book of the Grail , is now available.

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of A Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice --and ultimately threaten Sophie's life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie's quest to uncover the truth--while choosing between two suitors--and a young Jane Austen's touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, [2015]
ISBN: 9780143127727
Branch Call Number: LOVETT C
Characteristics: 308, 14 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

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Feb 12, 2018

Beautiful writing in the style of and about Jane Austen. I've enjoyed all of Charles Lovett's books.

May 30, 2017

I found this novel immensely satisfying. The authour's experience with the antiquarian book trade shines through, but more importantly, he captures the character of Jane Austen and her milieu beautifully. The modern characters are equally as engaging and the plot makes for a great read. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to Janites, lovers of historical fiction and mystery enthusiasts! Enjoy!

cals_readers Oct 12, 2016

PW and Booklist praised it. Kirkus Reviews panned it. (August 15, 2014) Got to read it now...

Oct 19, 2015

The shifting between Jane Austen's story and the modern one was particularly well handled. I was prepared to almost believe the whole thing. Looking for others by this author.

Aug 23, 2015

Might have a good plot, but I couldn't get past the second page for the writing--to me, it was "tell" not "show." I have higher expectations for someone writing about Jane Austen.

Aug 06, 2015

I found this to be a quick, summer read. Loved the suspense and fiction about Jane Austen's early life. Recommend it to everyone.

Jul 18, 2015

The book follows two timelines: 18th century England with Jane Austen and an elderly clergyman, Richard Mansfield, as main characters and 21st century with Sophie Collingwood and her family and friends as main characters. When the book begins, Jane Austen is writing her first draft of what would become Sense and Sensibility. She meets and develops a warm friendship with Richard Mansfield, who becomes a mentor and help in her writing. Sophie Collingwood has just graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and is at loose ends as to her future when she receives an unexpected legacy and starts work in an antiquarian bookshop. Soon the two timelines become intertwined when two customers ask Sophie to find a second edition of a book by Richard Mansfield.

This was a fun book for anyone who loves Jane Austen, old books, and mysteries. I really enjoyed the plot, the descriptions and love for books, the relationship between Sophie and her sister, Victoria, the mystery itself, and especially the friendship between Jane Austen and Richard Mansfield. I would have liked to see more interaction between Sophie and Victoria. The writing was a bit cliched at times and the mystery was fairly obvious, however, it was fun to read and had a charm about it, especially for me, who loves Jane Austen and old books and mysteries.

Jul 06, 2015

I enjoyed the fictional chapters about Jane Austen, I thought they were well written. The "mystery" kept me intrigued. The only thing that didn't seem well developed to me was the main character's relationships with the two possible love interests.

Jun 05, 2015

I throughly enjoyed this little gem of a book. It jumps back and forth from present day back to Jane Austen's day when she was writing Pride and Prejudice. A good mystery is involved too. Highly recommend.

martins_mom May 08, 2015

Another fictional take on
Jane Austen's life and work. There is a suggestion that a mentor really wrote Pride and Prejudice, and an English graduate student and bibliophile is investigating - and getting involved in some scary academic skulduggery along the way.

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