I admire what Barrett was trying to do, and it does make "Sanditon" come alive with possibilities. However, I was so distracted by Barrett's Germanic sentence construction that I could hardly follow the story. JA's prose was much more straightforward.
I love Jane Austen and was very excited to read this novel. About half way into the book I was so bored that I stopped reading it. Even though I cannot tell where the story ended for Austen and where co-author Julia Barrett began, I feel that Austen had something better in mind for the story. In addition, I tried to read another novel by Barrett and found it boring as well.
It is a shame to know that Jane Austen will never finish this story herself. All in all, I was disappointed.
Poor Jane Austen is probably rolling in her grave from the bad treatment her manuscript fragment has received here. The first 60 or 70 pages are quite good, as they're apparently a fairly unmodified version of what Miss Austen wrote before she died. After that, Julia Barrett takes over, and it's all explain, explain, explain, with not much dialog and none of it witty. Characters clearly intended to be comical turn dull, characters intended to be witty become prosy bores.If anyone would like to read a better completion of this Jane Austen fragment, I recommend the one published as 'Sanditon' by Jane Austen and Another Lady. Five stars for the part Jane Austen wrote and perhaps one for Julia Barrett's work.