Julia Allen is a person with complex interests. She’s a waitress to pay the bills, a cubist artist for extras, and a Jane Austen reenactor on weekends to serve her love of Regency. She borrows a rare copy of Austen’s Northanger Abbey from a friend, from which she reads to visitors at the historical open house.
Clad in Regency garb, she rushes home through the park late one night and collides with a tall stranger. Only later does she discover she’s lost the book she’d been clutching in her arms.
Eliot Weston, a book historian, is certain he imagined running into Jane Austen in the park even after he finds a rare copy of one of her books at his feet. But her authentic outfit and startled expression stays with him.
He soon meets Julia at an art exhibit, but doesn’t recognize the trendy artist as Jane. Julia is seeking a copy of Northanger Abbey–what a coincidence! He’s still dreaming of meeting the Jane Austen imposter and doesn’t tell Julia this book is in his possession. He’s still willing to help her look–for a different copy. Julia’s time is running out before her friend returns from a trip and discovers her precious book is missing.
Christmas with Miss Austen is a novella ebook currently on sale from Amazon for $.99. The premise–that of Julia falling asleep in the historic mansion and getting locked in, waking up in the middle of the night, hurrying home, and dropping the treasured book–seemed a bit of a stretch to me. However, I’m usually willing to give an author one ‘gimme.’ Once I accepted this premise, I enjoyed this novella quite a lot. Watching a book historian scout antique book fairs was very interesting, and I especially enjoyed the dichotomy in Julia’s personality.
Laura Briggs graduated from a Missouri liberal arts college in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Her passion for reading has inspired her to become a freelance writer and novelist. Ms. Briggs enjoys dabbling in several fiction genres, including romance, mystery, and literary.