I’m not sure what made me pick up The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen by Lindsay Ashford. I saw it on the shelf every time I went to the library and one day I picked it up thinking “Why not? It won’t cost me anything.” I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love that book so I”m not sure why I haven’t read more of her novels. I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.
Ashford spins a truly believable tale of love, lust, betrayal, and friendship around true events. Of course there is no way to prove or disprove the story but I thoroughly enjoyed her creative license. The story is told from the perspective of Anne Sharp. Sharp was governess to one of Austen’s nieces for a few years and truly did have an unusual friendship with Austen.
While it certainly took me quite awhile to get into The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen, I was sad when it was over. It also made me instantly curious to find more books that were retellings of cherished authors’ lives.