Book Quick Facts
Title: First Impressions: A Novel
Author: Charlie Lovett
Sophie Collingwood grew up in a house with an impressive library-only she is never allowed in it. While her family doesn’t understand her bookish love, she finds a supporter in her eccentric uncle who always encourages her reading.
Especially her reading of Jane Austen. After all, who doesn’t love Jane Austen?
Well, it turns out, not everyone loves Jane Austen. Especially if not loving her involves financial gain.
First Impressions: A Novel weaves together two plot lines. The first involves modern day Sophie as she gets pulled into a mystery involving the possibly earth shattering question: Who wrote Pride and Prejudice? Meanwhile, back in Regency England, we get to meet a young Jane Austen and her unlikely friend that inspires one of the greatest romances in history.
With murder, romance and book thieving, this novel adds a strong dash of adventure to a Jane Austen focused story. Main character Sophie has two young men interested in her, but which one should she choose? Which one should she trust?
The subtle nods to not just Pride and Prejudice, but Austen’s other works also made me happy.
Charlie Lovett writes smooth prose, strongly developed characters, and an intriguing storyline. I loved the modern day setting of London, with visits to the countryside, as well as Oxford. The subtle nods to not just Pride and Prejudice, but Austen’s other works also made me happy. Lovett also keeps some of the spirit and manners of Regency England interweaved in the modern day setting, which makes the shifts between Sophie’s and Jane’s timelines less jarring.
Overall, I liked the book greatly. I did find the focus on reading and books rather amusing. I love books as much as the next bookworm, but I also know there is more to life than reading. I’m not quite sure the characters in First Impressions have learned this yet. It’s the same way I want to clue the characters in The Paradise into the fact that selling people things is not the ultimate paragon of romance and happiness in the world.
Recommendation: If you love books, bookstores, were an English major or are a Jane Austen Fan, then you will love First Impressions.
Content Advisory: This book as moderate language sprinkled throughout the book. It is not constant but does pop up every once in a while. Also, toward the end of the book during the most action packed scene, there are a few uses of the f-word, which did catch me off-guard. This book also has a few bedroom scenes that are relatively short and which I just skipped over. It does have some violence (kicking, throwing a punch, etc).