The Jane Austen Society

The Jane Austen Society

Book - 2020
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Can a village in need, find hope after the devastation of war? The Jane Austen Society is a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where she lived. There are eight main characters, all of whom are obsessed with Austen and conspire to create the society and turn the Austen cottage into a museum in her honour, a WWII war widow, a farmer, a village doctor, a local solicitor, a house-girl in the Knight estate, the anticipated heiress of that estate, an employee of Sotheby's, and a Hollywood actress. Multiple social, romantic, and cultural collisions ensue.
Publisher: London :, Orion,, 2020.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 309 pages ;,25 cm.


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From Library Staff

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

From the critics

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Jan 05, 2021

Austen fans will like this book. Interesting speculative fiction about what might have happened if. . . an unlikely group of Austen fans created a society to preserve the Knight family (descendants of Jane's brother, Edward) library and preserve Chawton House as a Jane Austen museum. When the patriarch of the Knight. (Jane,s brother Edward,s )familly dies, shocking, recent changes to his will are revealed These changes put the Society goals in danger. Will a new heir appear? Will Frances, daughter of the deceased, lose the estate? Will the library remain intact? Will the estate be saved? Most importantly. Will seemingly unrequited love blossom into so.drying more?

Written in a style similar to Austen,s own, it is charming, light read.

Dec 18, 2020

A cute story that is an easy read. I’ve only read 2 of Austen’s novels so I probably missed some cool connections in this novel but I still enjoyed reading it. It’s not going to blow your mind but it’s a good read if you enjoy/know Austen well.

Oct 23, 2020

I was tentative going into this book. I had tried reading similar books before about Jane Austen and/or her family, and had been woefully disappointed by them being either too outlandish or just plain boring. However, in the case of this debut novel by Natalie Jenner, I was pleasantly surprised and ended up enjoying it very much.

Austen and her works are at the very center of this book in more than just the obvious - the title and plot to preserve the places where she spent her final days. As the story progresses, you begin to see elements of Austen's novels playing out within the lives of the different characters as well, which makes it great fun in looking for the parallels.

For some, the story may be too light and fluffy and romantic, but I honestly think that was kind of the point. Austen's novels are about characters who strive to change and improve themselves in order to find happiness, and that is something you see within Jenner's story. Overall, this is a delightful, light read for someone looking to relax.

Oct 15, 2020

I found this book to be absolutely delightful. My take was this was not a book intended to be for or to appeal to Austen fans, rather it was a book about human relationships and how we all struggle to see ourselves and recognise what pain and other emotions we might be holding within. It was through the Austen characters that the characters of the book were able to recognise themselves. A truly enjoyable read.

Oct 05, 2020

I enjoyed this book!

Sep 30, 2020

I read 60 pages and stopped. Didn't like the characters or the writing style. Author tried too hard to incorporate Austen's characters and stories with this effort. Disappointing

Sep 28, 2020

Loved the story line. Intriguing characters and unable to put it down. Would love to have author at one of our Zook(zoom book) Club meetings. I have not read alot of Jane Austen and still enjoyed the book.
Will look forward to more writing by this author.

Sep 27, 2020

Not a Jane Austen fan but I loved this book!

Sep 26, 2020

Delightful novel that reads much like a Jane Austen manuscript. Great characters you come to love as much as they love Austen's works.

WPL_Andrea Sep 10, 2020

You don't have to be an Austen fan to enjoy this book! There are many references to Austen's books throughout that add to the story but you don't have to have read the books to appreciate the references. If you loved Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society you will want to read this book.

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Aug 01, 2020

“Reading, she now understood, had been her own choice of rebellion.” - p.73

Aug 01, 2020

“…inside the pages of each and every book was a whole other world.
He could disappear inside that world whenever he needed to—whenever he felt the outside world, and other people, pressing in on him—a pressure from social contact and expectations that was surely routine for everyone else, but affected him much more intensely and inexplicably. But he could also experience things from other people’s points of view and learn their lessons alongside them, and—most important to him—discover the key to living a happy life.” - pp. 7-8.

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