Samantha McDonough has traveled to London with her boyfriend, and while he attends a medical conference, she tours Oxford University and its surrounding area, reminiscing about her time spent studying English Literature before she was called away to care for her ill mother.
While rummaging through a bookstore, she comes across a volume of poetry containing an unfinished letter that she recognizes as being written by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra. It describes an early work that has been mislaid. With the help of Anthony Whitaker, a venture capitalist in need of cash and the owner of Greenbriar, the ancient estate where the missing book is hidden, Samantha locates the manuscript.
The two strangers read the newly discovered work together along with us, as their own story unfolds with considerably less drama.