English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favourite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are. Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated. In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs.
Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, this is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.
Beth Pattillo is an RITA award-winning author. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and two children.