The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

Written by Syrie James
Review by Viviane Crystal

Imagine for a moment being an impassioned writer who is young but mature for your age. You have abundant skill in writing a popular, engaging story, but are outside the realm of possibilities in the publishing world. Perhaps you could pay to have it published, but that wouldn’t carry the merit of a novel accepted by a firm willing to sponsor the costs of publication and marketing. So for now literary esteem comes from your family and friends, along with your financial dependency on more well-to-do male siblings for home, clothing and food. You are, after all, just an ordinary woman living in England’s middle-class world of the early 1800s.

Such is the milieu of the now famous but then unknown writer, Jane Austen, whose life is about to undergo a miraculous and devastating change. In this fictional tale written as Jane’s supposedly lost memoirs, Jane meets a man at a seaside resort, a gentleman of like mind, integrity, and taste in novels and music. Expecting nothing, the writer is smitten by the evolving connection that quickly develops into a deep love. Mr. Frederick Ashford encourages her to seek a publisher for her writing. Indeed, while she is living this vividly romantic relationship, the reader gets to see how Jane creates, edits and rewrites her stories, a fascinating process as enjoyable as the evolving romance.

What could challenge that devotion? Twists and turns involving the demands of social class and finance make this story an exhilarating, page-turning delight with the most poignant and memorable scenes imaginable. The Lost Memoirs… is a very well-written, engaging novel worthy of the memorable tales of Jane Austen herself. Syrie James is a literate, highly skilled author to watch and remember, one who will give readers hours of memorable pleasure.