A delightful look into the Austen family... Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby (Review) #histfic #historicalfiction #biographical #newbooks #austenesque @Austenprose

Welcome to my tour stop with Austenprose PR for
this new historical fiction. Find my review below...

Godmersham Park:
A Novel of the Austen Family
By Gill Hornby
Historical Biographical Fiction, Austenesque
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 416 Pages
August 8, 2023 by Pegasus Books


A richly imagined novel inspired by the true story of Anne Sharp, a governess who became very close with Jane Austen and her family.

On January 21, 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At thirty-one years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge—twelve-year-old Fanny Austen—Anne's arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the "upstairs" and "downstairs" members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr. Edward Austen's family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming, and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent, mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane's brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess. And from now on, Anne's days at Godmersham Park are numbered.

Praise for the Book

"This is a deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts…I read it straight through without looking up.”— Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Bookclub

Hornby’s skillful mix of fact and fiction captures the complexities of the Austens and their era, and her crisp, nimble prose sparkles throughout. Best of all, Hornby genuinely channels the sentiment of 19th-century English literature. Janeites aren’t the only readers who will relish this smart, tender tale."— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“…a well-written and delightfully observant novel…an excellent read.”— The Historical Novel Society

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My Review

GODMERSHAM PARK is a delightful look inside the house of Jane Austen's brother. Based from the insights of Austen's niece and from the view of her niece's governess, it gives a unique portrait of the family with all its complexities. Fans of the author and historical fiction will find the story of interest as they are immersed in this world and the difficulties of a woman finding her place when she is neither a servant nor of high society.

This is the first book I've read from this author and I immediately loved her writing style as well as the character of Austen's niece's governess, Anne Sharpe. As the story moves forward, so do the intricacies of this Austen household and Jane Austen's family. Anne's story unfolds as she comes to some realizations and must choose what she will make of her own life. The author does a marvelous job of immersing readers in this time period as well as the life of a governess. It's a bittersweet tale, but one full of enjoyment and delightful looks at a beloved author.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a thoroughly enjoyable story, particularly for those who have an interest in the biographical aspects of the Austen family. Well researched and written, immersing readers in a period of life that was full of complexities and possibilities.

Content: Some innuendo but clean. Mild bisexual representation.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Gill Hornby is the author of the novels Miss Austen, The Hive, and All Together Now, as well as The Story of Jane Austen, a biography of Austen for young readers. She lives in Kintbury, England, with her husband and their four children.

Have you read any of this author's other books? Are you an Austen fan and will you be picking this one up?

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