A #1 International Bestseller
"A deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts." —Karen Joy Fowler
"You can't help feeling that Jane would have approved." —The Guardian
For fans of Jo Baker's Longbourn, a witty, wonderfully original novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?
England, 1840. Two decades after the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury and the home of her family friends, the Fowles. In a dusty corner of the vicarage, there is a cache of Jane's letters that Cassandra is desperate to find. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister's legacy to the flames?
Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra's vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane's brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane's life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine.