Okay, I have a confession to make. I have NEVER read a Jane Austen book. There! I said it. I know that seems impossible. I am a book blogger and I love historical fiction. However, I am not a classics type of reader. I know that many of you are thinking that I am missing out on some really great books. I’m sure that is true, but for some reason, I have avoided Ms. Austen’s books. So, when I read about this book, and saw that it had a “now and then” story-line I thought it might be the perfect way to dip my toe into the Austen waters. In the end this book was just okay for me. Let's start with the good parts:* I am a sucker for this type of story. Finding a never-before-seen letter that leads to a quest, to an old house, to find a missing and also never-before-seen manuscript…….. great idea.* It was a very quick and easy read. * I “liked” both story lines equally. Samantha is obviously passionate about Jane Austen, and as a reader, I was caught up in her hopes to find the manuscript. The a Stanhopes were a sweet family, and since this book is really about the manuscript, their story had a bit more depth. My favorite characters were Mr. Clifton, the new Reverend of Elm Grove, and Laurel Ann, Sam’s bookish but spunky friend in the States.* I liked the ending of both stories. I guessed pretty quickly how it would end, and was pleased to see it turn out like I thought. * The cover is beautiful.Now for my not so favorite parts.* I almost feel I am not qualified to review this book because I may be missing the point. Perhaps Ms. James was successfully emulating Jane Austen’s writing, and that was the beauty of the book. I didn’t exactly like the formal speech of the Stanhopes, but that may have been the way Jane Austen wrote. Or, maybe that is the exact way that people spoke back then. Probably both. But that formality left the Stanhope story felling a little fake.* Tragic things kept happening to Rebecca and her father. An unbelievable amount of tragic things, one right after another. These tragic things were bad, but never changed the tone of the story. It felt like these horrible setbacks were merely inconveniences that were forgotten about quickly. * Quick and easy, but it was just too light of a story for me. As I mentioned, the speech of the Stanhope’s story didn’t allow for very much emotion. The characters didn’t feel real and as a result I couldn’t fully sympathize with their situations. The present day story had a bit more emotion, but not much, and it was rushed. Samantha managed to find the letter, track down the manuscript, and read it in just a few days. * I didn’t like the main character Samantha. Aside from her focused interest in literature and Jane Austen, she came off as fickle and disinterested.One of my friends was surprised that I was reading this book, knowing that I didn’t have much interest in Jane Austen to begin with. That being said, she wasn’t surprised by my opinion at all. Overall, this may end up being my only dip into the Austen waters.