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Gill Hornby Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Story of Jane Austen (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Who Was... Books

Jane Austen: The Girl with the Magic Pen (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gill Horn
Gill Horn is an English author of chick lit and historical best known for her debut novel The Hive. The book outlines the feuds and friendships in a group of women and was such a hit that Focus Features acquired film rights. Aside from writing, Horn also works as a journalist. The author currently resides in Kintbury, Berkshire, and lives with her husband and their four children.

The Hive
The Hive is a semi-satirical story highlight the lives of mums with kids in the same school. The school year has just started at St. Ambrose, and as the kids settle in their new classes, their mothers are in another class where friendship and betrayal come in equal measure. Among the mum’s is a queen bee who set the social standards the rest are supposed to follow. Some moms are inside the cliques; others are desperate to join while others care little about the groupings. This story follows all these mums throughout the year, documenting individual dramas amongst the mums and the eventual dethroning of the queen bee.
Here, you will meet Beatrice, the undisputed queen bee. Beatrice runs this group and all fundraising events in school. This has been the case in the past few years, and all indications are that Beatrice is not letting this position go any time soon. On the other is Heather, a woman who is desperate to be noticed. Heather volunteers in all events, and it is clear that she is so desperate to belong she would do anything to join the clique. Racheal is the silent watcher who enjoys the drama from a distance. Well, Rachel will, at a point, discover that she could become the outcast if she did not put any effort in remaining relevant in the group. Lastly, there is Georgie, the smoker, and her no bullshit attitude.

While this book paints the picture of affluent and boring lifestyles, it also explores some of the relationships mothers have with their daughters. Just think of mean girls in the motherhood world. Some will act so desperate it will make you cringe while others are so self-centered, they do not think anyone else’s opinion counts. The author throws in some drama and romance that will make you wonder whether we ever really grow up. Racheal is the main character in the story, and through her voice, we learn about her soon to be ex-husband Chris, her friend the social queen, and the new headmaster Tom that Racheal cannot get out of her mind.

The Hive is a wickedly funny story that takes an in-depth look at female friendships, and the power plays involved. The metaphoric title adds to the satire the author is working to convey on women’s relationships. It is sad how people work too hard to fit in while others are plain lazy and entitled. That said, the author strikes a perfect balance between comic and serious, so there are many laugh-out-loud moments. So who is threatening Bea’s place, and what makes them tick? How will she react when the tables turn on her? Read about this and more in this intriguing book. This book is a choice if you want something lighthearted on moms and their social circles.

Miss Austen
Miss Austen tells the story of two sisters whose close relationship baffled those around him. It is 1840, and twenty years have passed after the death of Jane Austen. Her sister Cassandra is sixty-five and growing frail by the day. Cassandra decides to stay with the Fowles in Kintbury with the sole mission of hunting her sister’s letters. The Fowles was the family of her dead fiancé, and Cassandra was sure that there were many love letters from Jane in that house. Cassandra wanted to ensure that her sister’s reputation was preserved by destroying any letter that portrayed her any less than perfect. After spending days avoiding a meddlesome housemaid and her host, Cassandra finally finds her sister’s letters.

This book gives insights into the letters Jane Austen’s sister destroyed a few years before she passed on. As Cassandra secretly goes through her sister’s letters, she meddles in Isabel’s future even though her questions are first met with indifference. Isabel, her current host and a relative to her late fiancé, seems to be packing her late parents’ belongings. Where could she be headed to? Well, Cassandra will intrude her way into Isabel’s life and eventually help her set up in Isabel’s sister’s place.

Through this story, the author explores the role of women in the early 19th century. Jane and Cassandra were single their whole lives, and at a time when women had to get married to elevate their social and financial status, this was odd. Cassandra thought being a single woman is a high calling and a blessing. Jane Austen did a lot of writing on the plight of women, and this book reads like a continuation of her work. So, what was in those letter’s that Cassandra thought would taint her late sister’s reputation? Was destroying the letters a smart move?

Cassandra is a lovable character. It is sweet that she was so determined to protect her sister many years after her death. Through this story, we also get a side of Jane Austen many did not know about. The accomplished author was not just a champion of women’s rights, she was also fierce, determined, and a caring sister. Isabel, her sister, and the rest of the cast is just as intriguing.

Miss Austen humorously tells the story of unwed women at a period when having a husband was considered an achievement. Life is hard for such women, but we see Cassandra defying the social norms and being very happy with her life. The author cleverly interweaves Cassandra’s vibrant memories of her days with Jane with brilliantly reimagined letters that Cassandra was so keen to destroy. If you love Jane Austen, you can be sure that you will love this book. While this a work of fiction, the author highlights events that happened, making this read like a true story. The story flows well, and this, in addition to the beautiful storyline, makes it a must-read.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gill Hornby

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