Title: The Jane Austen Society
Author: Natalie Jenner
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: May 26, 2020 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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."
My Two Cents:
"The Jane Austen Society" is the story of a group of people brought together by their love and appreciation of the beloved author, Jane Austen, in order to try to save her legacy. The book largely takes place in the mid-1940s just as England is beginning to come out of World War II. The quiet novel is the story of how different people with singular goal in mind can come together to do something wonderful.
The group that comes together comes from all sorts of backgrounds that don't seem to have much in common with each other: a laborer, an actress, a doctor, a widow, and many others. I loved how this book shows how these people are able to find common ground and organize to do something wonderful. This was certainly comforting to read during these uncertain times when it seems like in many ways, people are having difficulty coming together!
While the Jane Austen Society is the center of the book, there are lots of different offshoot story lines between all of the characters in the story, which added some interest to the book. There are love stories and mysteries and many of these stories are often seen through the lens of Jane Austen's stories, which I enjoyed as a fan of Austen's work.
Chawton, Jane Austen's home is at the center of the book. It's a place that I dream about being able to visit someday! And since I can't go anywhere now, I loved reading about it and how the group of characters come together to save such a great place. This book is a very cozy read. It's not flashy, nor fast-moving but it is comforting, like a perfect cup of tea.