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Book Review: The Jane Austen Society By Natalie Jenner


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 loved the idea of this novel at the start, however I felt it was a bit repetitive and not enough to distract me (as I was reading this along with other reads during a time when my new-born has been in and out of hospital ((poor baby CC)) when I am still recovering as a new-mum post-natal and all that since that’s the most KEY important stage. After all, a lot of young mothers sometimes end their own lives during this time and you don’t think to even ask how someone so young could have died. Yet, as Austen found solace within her environment I could see why the characters in this novel where enchanted by one writer. Although after a point I felt we are starting to hear from too many characters by 100 pages in, move on with the plot.

I was very much excited about the plot of this novel. The fact that it was to be an entire society about Jane Austen based in the small village of Chawton where she once resided and wrote, by an oddly associated group connected by their love for her novels.

I began the novel enjoying it as I liked the main characters even though they were very different from each other. All connected by their surprising love of Austens novels. It goes back and forth between all the characters so it can take longer than usual to get used to this switch and remembering each persons story and their reasons since their all so different. It took a while to get used to. However the fact that Austen managed to pull these people out of slumps and seems to be the thing that keeps them going.

It was a comforting read however it was a bit slow. If you are reading it for ages it will take you forever to finish it as it can be a bit repetitive but it is a feel-good read.

3/5 Stars

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