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Longbourn - Jo Baker

For Jane Austen fans: I usually can't stand it when modern authors have the chutzpah to set books in Austen's universe--I have no interest in reading what about might have happened to Elizabeth and Darcy's daughters. But Jo Baker's Longbourn is a brilliant exception; she captures a lot of the feel of Austen (with dashes of Eliot and Dickens and the Brontes) without trying to mimic her voice. And because Baker centers her novel on the servants in the Bennet household, with Elizabeth and Jane and Lydia on the periphery, her book is also a useful corrective to Austen's exclusive focus on the gentry. Really one of my favorite books I've read this year.