The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
This is just a lovely book.
The premise of this novel is that a cache of Jane Austen's handwritten work is found, including her memoirs, penned shortly before her death. In these memoirs is revealed not only the family's move after their father died, but also the at times comples relationships amongst the family members...and a secret love that Jane harbored and never shared with anyone but her family.
After spending an afternoon with the charming Mr. Ashford while on vacation in Lyme, Jane finds herself often thinking of the man, and when they cross paths again and again, it solidifies their feelings for each other - and gives Jane the shot she needs to begin working on Sense and Sensibility again (her first published novel). Mr. Ashford is a compilation of so many of Austen's "famous men" - and he and Jane play so perfectly against he other, you just root and root for them to get together (sounds like Elizabeth and Darcy, no?). Of course, we know that Austen died unmarried, but...
The writing of this novel perfectly echoes that of the real Jane Austen, written with wit and vivacity and with such accuracy, it feels as though you really ARE reading the memoirs of Jane Austen - I had to remind myself often that it was fiction, so pulled into the story I was!
I really, really enjoyed this gentle return to Regency times, and highly, highly recommend it to Austen and Regency fans alike!