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Eccentric Fran wants a second chance. Thanks to her intimacy with Jane Austen, and Shelley, she finds one. Jane Austen is such a presence in Fran's life that she seems to share her cottage and garden, becoming an imaginary friend.
Fran's conversations with Jane Austen guide and chide her - but Fran is ready for change. An encounter with a long-standing friend, and a new one, a writer, lead to something new.
The three women unite in their love of books and in a quest for the idealist poet Shelley at two pivotal moments: in Wales and Venice. His yearning for utopian communities and visionary power lead them to interrogate their past relationships, literature, motherhood, death, feminism, the resurgence of childhood memory in old age, the tensions between generations.
Despite the appeal of solitude, they open themselves to different ways of living outside partnership and family. Jane Austen has plenty of comments to offer. This "coming of old age" novel is a (light) meditation on age, literature, friendship, hope, and the joy of new opportunities.
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