After previously being lucky enough to review an advance copy of the fantastic ‘Miss Austen’, I jumped at the chance to experience Gill Hornby’s new novel ‘Godmersham Park’,.
Godmersham Park focuses on the life of Anne Sharpe; a woman whose life and circumstances drastically change after the death of her mother, resulting in her accepting the post of governess for the family of Edward Austen.
Anne is forced to come to terms with her new social standing very quickly and, along with her ill health and absent father, this does make for a melancholy life at times. However, there are moments of humour, particularly in the form of Henry Austen and his unwelcome flirty banter.
But, of course, the main reason we are here is because we are drawn by the promise of an insight into mine (and Anne’s) favourite Austen: Jane.
Anne and Jane were close in real life, and their friendship truly blossoms throughout this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Jane’s wit and humour as well as the thought-provoking social commentary that we have come to expect from this icon.
As this is based on real people and events, this is not a dramatic novel with plot twists around every corner, nor is this a Regency romp a la Bridgerton. It is, however, an incredibly researched, easy read that shines a light on the difficulties unmarried women faced in the 1800s.
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this novel.