ISBN #: 978-0525427247
Page Count: 320
Copyright: October 16, 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult
(Taken from Amazon)
Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen.
Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.
In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.
There are those novels whose titles seem so obscure that you're searching the entire novel for correlation. That did not happen here. This novel was rife with references pertaining to first impressions. Here are some examples:
- When Jane Austen first came upon Richard Mansfield she thought him full of gloom.
- Jane Austen's first impression of Nurse on a dark moonlit night was that she was meeting and consorting with a secret lover, something extremely forbidden by the rulers of the school where she worked.
- Jane's cautionary tale, a form of absolution prescribed by Mr. Mansfield, was named First Impressions.
- Sophie Collingwood's first impression of Eric Hall was that he hated Jane Austen, one of her favorite authors, and that he behaved like an ass.
- Sophie's first impression of Winston was that he was handsome and his reasoning behind searching for a rare book was unique and believable.
The first impressions we have of others are often misleading and incorrect. We should get to know others and their circumstances before casting judgments on them. If we would take the high road and practice that, it would save a lot of heartache and confrontations.
Once again Charlie Lovett has created a novel intertwining past and present into a deliciously fantastic literary escape. I didn't want to put this book down ... until I got near the end then I wanted to draw it out as much as possible. Having read both of Mr. Lovett's novels, I am now a ginormous fan. He has been added to my must-read author list.
*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The giveaway is open until 10/25. On 10/26, a winner will be randomly chosen. The winner will then have 48 hours to respond. If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours, or does not have a US/Canadian address, then another winner will be randomly chosen in their place.
Now, for the prizes ... Of course one of the prizes is your own copy of First Impressions by Charlie Lovett. The second prize: a Penguin Classics hardcover copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! You'll see how related the two novels are once you read First Impressions.