I didn’t know much at all about the story of this book going in and I definitely think that’s the best way to read it. Usually I like to have a good idea of the synopsis but upon just now reading the one Goodreads provides, which spoils the entire plot of this book, I’m glad I went into it mostly blind. Basically what you need to know is that Fanny Austen and her cousin Anna (nieces to the famed Jane Austen), have just come of age to be introduced into high society and must navigate it’s ups and downs along with some help from their Aunt Jane.
This book was a gem! I was definitely not expecting to love it as much as I did. I read this coming off the back of reading Lucy Worsley’s Jane Austen at Home which is her biography on Jane Austen’s life and this book was the perfect follow-up. There were a couple of gestures to some Jane’s lesser known history, like the plot-line with the stolen lace which is a nod to a real life story involving one of Jane’s family members, and it was so fun to make the connections between the two books.
As for The Austen Girls itself, I wasn’t expecting this to be a five star read until the very end which broke me. My emotions were a mess! And for such a short book Fanny’s character growth was really well done. She started off shy and unsure of herself, but as the book goes on she blossoms and, even though the choice she made at the end was bittersweet, it just felt right and I loved it! I was so excited to see that Lucy Worsley has just published an Agatha Christie biography which I can’t wait to read and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for any more fiction she puts out as well. Happy Reading 🙂