From the number one bestselling author of Miss Austen, a powerful and moving novel featuring Jane Austen’s closest friend and confidante …
‘Displays a keen sense of wit and rich characterisation … a thoroughly enjoyable book’ Observer
‘So envious of anyone yet to read this. A triumph!’ Nigella Lawson
‘A masterly piece of storytelling.’ Helena Kelly
‘The great writer is brought to life in this clever, well-researched piece of fiction’ The Times
‘Thoroughly entertaining, Godmersham Park has some of the same understated wit and sharp observation as Austen’s novels’ Sunday Times
January 1804: Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess.
At thirty-one years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. But her mother has died and she desperately needs an independent income if she is to survive.
For her new charge, twelve-year-old Fanny Austen, Anne’s arrival is all novelty and excitement.
But Anne is keenly aware that her new role is an awkward one: she is neither one of the servants nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in her instant dismissal.
She has just begun to settle into her position when dashing Henry Austen and his younger sister Jane come to stay.
Both take an immediate interest in the pretty, clever governess who quickly becomes drawn into the above stairs life of the Austen family.
Despite her best endeavours, Anne finds that she is beginning to fall in love. But has her survival at Godmersham Park just become a good deal more precarious?
More love for Godmersham Park …
‘If you love Jane Austen you’re sure to enjoy Gill Hornby’s stylish glimpse into the life of young governess Anne Sharp … this elegantly written tale skilfully recreates a world where governesses are midway between the family upstairs and the servants downstairs.’ The Independent
‘Utterly absorbing and illuminating … Gill Hornby’s best book yet.’ Esther Freud
‘I read it straight through without looking up.‘ Karen Joy Fowler
‘Meticulously researched, Hornby’s absorbing novel revels in the joys and tensions of life above and below stairs.’ Mail on Sunday
‘An invigorating riff on an author whose life and works keep on giving, and an ideal companion for your beach towel this summer.’ Metro
‘Gill Hornby has created another winning tribute to the genius of Jane.’ Woman
Praise for Miss Austen and Gill Hornby …
‘The perfect book to wrap yourself around on a dark night’ STYLIST
‘You can’t help feeling that Jane would have approved.’ OBSERVER
‘Celebrates unexamined lives, sisterhood and . . . kindness and loyalty’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘A deeply imagined and deeply moving novel’ KAREN JOY FOWLER
‘It won’t surprise me if this is one of the books of the year‘ RTE
‘An ingenious and affecting embroidery on the fact of the author’s life’ SUNDAY MIRROR
‘Fans of Pride and Prejudice and Emma will enjoy this touching story’ SUNDAY EXPRESS
‘Extraordinary and heart-wrenching, Miss Austen transported me from page one’ LARA PRESCOTT
‘Tender and touching . . . Hornby movingly celebrates the fortitude of Cassandra’ DAILY MAIL
‘A moving, often funny novel. Richly imagined and spryly told’, MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘A wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel’ IRISH EXAMINER
‘[A] . . . subtle and delicate novel’ WOMAN & HOME