Let me start by saying that I have read dozens upon dozens of the various "Jane Austen fan fiction" which have proliferated lately -- some I have enjoyed tremendously, others not so much. But this book is head and shoulders my favourite of all in that genre. It was a unique premise, introducing diaries and letters of people who lived the story, as well as explaining how Jane Austen came to hear of these people. Running parallel to that plot was the story of Maggie, the young American working in England just following WWII, who was introduced to the diaries, etc. and her own romantic tales and close involvement with the descendents of the people who lived the story -- and those descendents carry another plot line. This is not a book to gallop through, it is one to meander through, enjoying the various histories of those involved. There are a large number of characters to keep track of but I think the author did an excellent job of making them individuals. There is a lot of both history, and social history in this book over a period of 150 years that I also found fascinating. I found this to be an intriguing read, and I had to keep reminding myself that this was all fiction! All in all, for me, a remarkable first novel, and I hope to read more from this author in the future.