Review: Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

You guys, I finished a book! Last I checked in, I wasn’t even reading because I couldn’t focus. I’m not going to lie, there are small chunks of this book I just entirely missed. The one downside to audiobooks is that when you realize your mind glazed over a few minutes ago, it’s harder to find the last part you remember than in a physical book. But I did really hear most of it, and now I’m reading again.

A note on the narrator: She’s lovely and soothing. Maybe don’t listen to this one cuddled up in bed, unless you need the help falling asleep right now.

I read The Hive when it came out and adored it, so when Gill Hornby’s newest book was offered to booksellers for review, I had to have it. This is a very different novel, since The Hive is a contemporary novel about the politics among school mothers and Miss Austen is a historical imagining of the life of Jane Austen’s sister. But they feel similar, in that they’re both kind of quiet novels about relationships and misunderstandings between women.

I really liked this book, and it’s a really good read for right now. The drama is all calm and interpersonal; there’s no high-stakes, dire intrigue. It’s interesting, and based on a real historical figure, so it does hold your attention. It’s quiet and mostly uplifting.

Miss Austen is definitely for fans of The It Girls, Jane Austen’s works, and even books like North by Northanger.

Disclosure: Most links are Bookshop affiliate links.

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