It's hard to know what to say about an unfinished draft of a novel... Was it interesting? Yes, in a way... Do I want to know how it ends? Yes, I think... Do I think the part that exists is good? Well, no not really. It's not Jane's best work. Or maybe it's just not like her other work. It seemed uneven--too rushed in some parts and too slow in others. Overall, there was not much character development - that is, we didn't learn who the characters are based on their dialogue and actions. Instead, we were mostly told what to think of them, either by the narrator or by Charlotte, the heroine. Charlotte has been sent, on only a very short acquaintance, to stay with the Parkers in an up-and-coming, soon-to-be fashionable seaside town called Sanditon for a fortnight or so. We are introduced to a varied, but not particularly interesting or memorable (yet) cast of characters over the first 12 chapters, which are all that exist of this last novel Austen was working on before her untimely death.
As for this Hesperus Classics edition, it is very nice. Printed on good paper in a easily readable font, it is better quality than I would have expected for a small, relatively unknown, unfinished novel. Bravo to them, as I have no idea when I would have gotten around to reading this without the incentive of a nice new, pure copy (as opposed to the one I have which another author completed). While I don't understand why there is a rooster on the (presumably final) cover, it is just fine by me and I like the cover flaps very much. You don't often see them on paperbacks, but they are very useful for holding notes, marking ones place, or just generally making the book stronger and more luxurious-looking than a regular old paperback. The Introduction was illuminating and the endnotes were few (only 5) but quite helpful. The intended audience is clearly those who are familiar with Austen and are "completists" of her work.