If the mark of a great author is not merely how much she incites the imaginations of readers but the extent to which she inspires fellow writers, then there can be no doubt that Jane Austen is the greatest author of them all. Just when you think the market for Austen spinoffs has reached capacity, a new book comes onto the scene that turns the genre on its head. Such is the case with First Impressions, Charlie Lovett’s delightful new novel.
Sophie Collingwood has always loved books and also fancies herself something of a detective, so when the opportunity to work at one of London’s antiquarian bookstores presents itself, it seems a dream come true. But when two different men request her assistance in tracking down an obscure religious text, Sophie is drawn into a hunt that calls into question the authorship of the most famous work of English literature: Pride & Prejudice. As the mystery around this potentially earth-shattering tome thickens and the literary treasure hunt turns deadly, Sophie finds herself worrying that her own life may be on the line along with Austen’s reputation.
Part mystery, part love story, First Impressions is a 100 percent thumping good read and a loving homage to one of literature’s most beloved authors. Lovett takes readers on a rollicking adventure that cleverly weaves in the best elements of Austen’s novels, while also giving life to Austen’s own personal history in a satisfying and captivating way. It’s a giddy novel that celebrates books and the people who love them as much as it entertains, making it the perfect read for bookworms and Janeites alike.
RELATED CONTENT: Read a Q&A with Lovett about First Impressions.