In 1840, Cassandra Austen decides to show up unannounced at the vicarage of the Fowle family, that has to be vacated after the vicar’s death. Her visit comes unexpected and unwelcome, but she doesn’t care as she’s there for a great purpose: to find the letters her sister Jane wrote to Mrs. Fowle and dispose of the ones that might damage Jane’s reputation, who died years ago and is now quite famous. All this has to be done in secret, as she obviously cannot ask for letters that do not belong to her.
So we follow Cassandra’s deeds and at the same time we glimpse into the young Austen girls life, through Jane’s letters and the narrator. This is a charming historical novel, and Hornby – who made up Jane’s letters – has done a great and brave job recreating Jane Austen’s style.