This book was given to me by Penguin First to Read in anticipation of a review.
I am wary of real life people being used as fictional characters. Do I still read the fiction? Well yes, but Edgar Allen Poe, Abraham Lincoln, etc. have been really put through the literary mill in too many genres to count and with varying levels of success. Jane Austen is rapidly, if not surpassing, her fellows in the race for the most fictional appearances. “First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen” by Charlie Lovett is such an attempt. The novel runs two parallel storylines. One with Jane Austen in the early stages of her writing career and the other set in the present day. The stories complement one another rather nicely. There are elements of mystery, romance, literary doings and bibliophilia, the latter of which any sufferer of “the gentle madness” can truly understand. I found this work to be both interesting and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to reading the first novel by this author and more in the future.
I've been reading the Writers of the Future anthologies for many years. This one did not disappoint. Though the quality of the stories do vary (as it does in any anthology pursuant to each reader’s personal taste) this is a solid entry in the series. As these stories are by mostly new authors we can also look forward to more to come.