Title: The Jane Austen Society
Author: Natalie Jenner
Publication: May 26, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
I have seen this book floating around as a must-read for any Austen fan and for fans of historical fiction. I had actually purchased this book from Thriftbooks a few weeks ago and had just set it in my to be read that I have next to my bed, this is my read sooner stack. However, my Grandmother recently passed away and she was a massive Austen fan. She had even traveled to England to visit some of Austen locations. She also received an Austen Themed magazine every few months from England. Anyway, with her passing, I decided to read this book soon.
This book has a broad cast of characters. A shy farmer, the local doctor, the local spinster, a Hollywood Starlet, a lawyer, teacher who is a war widow, a housemaid, and a antique dealer. They came from all walks of life but are joined together by Jane Austen and her books. They want to start a museum in her old cottage in the village of Chawton where Austen lived at one point. They come together to get this done and to protect the legacy of a author that they all dearly love. I really enjoyed this book. It takes place after WW2, like directly after. It was a slow start as they introduced all of the characters but once we learn their stories and how they are intertwined the story picks right up and is excellent.
I loved how each of the characters stories were folded into each other. The way that they interacted with each was other well written. The back stories for each character are well thought out. I think honestly my favorite characters were Frances the spinster and Dr. Grey the local doctor. I really enjoyed finding out more about those two characters. There love for Austen and her works was awesome. I think that she is still a hugely popular author afters all these years. Her books have been turned into movies and tv series. I liked the book so much that I am passing it onto my mother to read. It made me miss my Grandma, this something that I would also passed to her to read because of the Austen content. Knowing that she isn’t there anymore to pass books too breaks my heart. I certainly hope that this author writes more books, I would certainly read more of them.
STAR RATING: 5/5
Pick up your copy of The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more from author Natalie Jenner HERE.