“A love letter to Jane Austen…”
There’s simply no other way to describe Natalie Jenner’s debut novel. A true Austen fan, Jenner swoops into the lives of readers and surrounds them with the romance and nostalgia that Austen’s legacy has blossomed into in the modern age. While each of the characters are fictional, the comfort they seek and the community they discover out of their mutual admiration for the prolific writer is entirely real. The English village of Chawton — a place frequented by tourists looking to find something Jane Austen may have left behind in her former home — is still recovering from the fallout of WW2 when a farmer has an idea: to create a place where Austen fans can come to truly experience the place where their beloved books were written.
We love Jane Austen because her characters, sparkling as they are, are no better or worse than the rest of us.
They’re so…completely human.
John Greene wrote that we fall in love the way we fall asleep — slowly, and then all at once. It’s this wonderful (and unintentional) phenomenon that enveloped me as I read The Jane Austen Society. I met the characters one, by one, discovering little bits o their stories at a time before I was able to see how their histories intertwined. With every connection I found, I found myself reading for just a little bit longer each night, allowing myself just one more chapter before I surrendered to sleep. It happened so quickly, I didn’t even realize it — I was wholeheartedly imbedded in the lives of Adeline and Dr. Gray and the rest of the society, and I loved it.
Jenner’s words brought me comfort, joy, and complete nostalgia. I found myself filled with the same sort of fluttering feeling in my stomach that I felt the first time I read Jane Austen. I learned so much about the author herself through the experiences of Jenner’s cast. More importantly, I found the words I wasn’t aware I’d been searching for — words to describe the healing Austen’s stories bring and the way she makes every reader feel known. This book was, in essence, an absolute joy to consume.
I, for one, find it greatly consoling that she [Austen[ had us all figured out.
If you liked … The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir or the The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society, you will fall head-over-heels for this “ragtag” group of literary confidants.
Recommended Age: 13+