Frustratingly, Jane Austen completed only seven novels, leaving two unfinished. Sanditon (1817) was stalled by the most common authorial interruption – death – but the other sawn-off story, The Watsons (1805), stopped for unclear reasons after 18,000 words,
The oddity of a Russian espionage operation in English suburbia has been made topical by the Salisbury poisonings. And, with teachers, doctors and even commuters (“See it. Say It. Sorted”) being asked to identify potential terrorists, the morality of civilian surveillance and suspicion is also current.
The Meeting succeeds in both being geographically site-specific – dramatising the deep roots of Quakerism in West Sussex – and universal in its exploration of the human instincts towards spirituality and ruinous temptation.