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The Jane Austen Society

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  81 reviews
"Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal." —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Just after the Second World War, in the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Prepare to meet the "three or four families in a country village," and a Hollywood movie star, who embrace their passion and form a literary society in honor of an author whose enduring appeal, after 200 years, reminds us of what should be paramount in our lives: compassion, love, and reading! The Jane Austen Society is an uplifting tribute to its inspiration and the nobility of the human spirit. -- Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Kathryn in FL

"They" say that imitation is the deepest form of flattery. Yes, indeed it is, as you will observe when you read this lovely story. I am not a romance fan, so this is truly high praise. The interesting characters and their mutual love for both Jane Austen, as a person, and her body of work draws them together in a quest to create a memorial of some type in tribute to her work and her talent.

As they share their passion for the writings and characters set in Austen's time (late 1700's to
A heartwarming, gently paced tale set in the 1940's English village, Chawton, that will delight many readers.

Review to come closer to release date.

My thanks to St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read the book in exchange for my honest review.
Jun 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
Giveaway win!!
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, giveaways
I read a lot and often, and rarely am I as moved by the story and the characters as I was by Natalie Jenner's magnificent debut, The Jane Austen Society. It's one of those rare books that makes you think about its people long after you put it down. You will laugh with them, you will fall in love with them, you most certainly will cry with them.

The heart of the story is beloved British writer, Jane Austen, and an estate in Chawton, England, where she lived. The plot is driven by eight very
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eight people living in the vicinity of Chawton, Hampshire come together in post-WWII England to try to save parts of Austen's estate for history. The characters show similarities with Austen's prototypes, but they also wrestle with their own demons and their own losses. Jenner captures them vividly and makes their shared goal—to gather together the shards of an artist's life cut short—a goal that gives them all purpose and fellowship. It is one thing to love Jane Austen (like we all do), but ...more
Mar 09, 2019 added it
Well, this is something I need in my life.
Silver Petticoat
I was completely captivated. Natalie Jenner’s writing is charming, with a keen eye for romance and small-town life. Not only does "The Jane Austen Society" affirm the power of Jane Austen’s books but it’s a huge love letter to Jane Austen and Janeites everywhere. So, if you’re not a member of the “real” Jane Austen Society, you’ll likely want to join after reading this delightful debut. If you liked "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," then you’ll enjoy this lovely book. I can’t ...more
Kathleen Flynn
Jane Austen exerts an irresistible fascination on her readers, and on writers too. Many cannot resist answering her, whether by retelling her plots in modern form (Eligible, Unmarriageable, The Three Weissmanns of Wesport); taking them from a different point of view (Mary B., Longbourn, etc); continuing them (Death Comes to Pemberley, etc); imagining Austen herself as, say, a vampire or simply a teenager (Jane Bites Back, Jane's First Love). Books are always in dialogue with other books, but ...more
Kate Grace
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can’t think of a better word to describe this book than ‘lovely’!

It’s not just a lovely interpretation, or adaption, of Jane Austen’s works. It’s a lovely celebration of reading Jane Austen in particular - and of READING in general! This novel reminds us of reading’s ability to support connections... to connect us with others, to (re)connect us with ourselves.

The post-war setting and original characters introduce a balance of heartbreak and heart (which I imagine would make Austen proud).

Barb Wild
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won
I was one of the lucky ones that won this book. The story that takes place is about the love of the Jane Austen novels and the bringing together of locals to study read and talk about the Jane Austen novel. I found it wonderful as it supports the continuation of reading also over time. The story was well written, easily understood and i would love to share it with my book club.
Thanks to NetGalley for an e-ARC of this novel. All opinions expressed in my review are my own and not affected by NetGalley's service.

A race against time to save Jane Austen's legacy in Chawton, the Hampshire village where she spent her final days writing and revising her famous novels. It all begins in in June 1932 when a chance meeting between Adam Berwick, a sad farmer mourning his lost family and educational opportunities, and an American tourist inspires Adam to spend his winter reading
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
*4.5 stars

If you adore Jane Austen, and quiet novels about life than this is perfect for you. This take place during WWII and shortly after, in one of the last places that Jane Austen lived, Chawton, England. You have a motley crew of characters: an American actress, a doctor, a lawyer, a teenage girl, a teacher, a shy field worker, and even a descendant of Jane's. They are all of different ages, wealth, some grieve, some are too shy, and some have big ideas, but they all have one thing in
Molly Greeley
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was so privileged to receive an advance copy of The Jane Austen Society, a book that drew me in from the very first page and kept me reading well past my bedtime. Natalie Jenner's thoughtful interpretation of, and clever homages to, Jane Austen's books makes her own novel a special treat for those of us who have read (and re-read) Austen's work. But even readers who are not as familiar with Jane Austen will find much to appreciate. Jenner has a gift for writing characters you feel you truly ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner is a stunning historical fiction that mainly in placed in the tiny village of Chawton, England. It spans from 1932-1947 and encompasses many points of view from several different delightful characters that live in the area as well as a few others that are all drawn together by more then just fate by one person alone: Miss Jane Austen.

I have to say I am a huge Austen fan ( my personal favorite is Sense and Sensibility) and that fact paired with the
Suzanne Fournier
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A group of individuals, each with their own past and pain, from a small town where Jane Austen once lived come together with a Hollywood Starlet over their shared love of the authoress.

This debut novel will take the world by storm and hopefully will be the first of many books for this author.

This is probably the best book I've read this year. The characters and the setting are so rich and complex. I love Austen and while she is very much a background character in the story the author shines in
R J Mckay
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-shelf
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review.

A small English village, it’s only claims to fame is that over a ten-year period, Jane Austen lived there in her family home and wrote several of her books. World War II is over. The world is slowly returning to ‘normal’. A group of individuals come together, their only thing in common is a love for all things Jane Austen and their desire to create a tribute to her.
This story touched me. It was written like a Jane Austen

When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Jane Austen, her books, or her characters.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I had to wait a long time before it arrived, but it was worth every moment I waited. This is a variation on the founding of the Jane Austen Society. Facts have been tweaked, and characters created, but it's a delightful read. It took me a few chapters to get into the book, but then things whipped along.

This book not only tells the tale, altered as it is, of the founding of the society, but it delivers a good story with great characters. While the
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an enjoyable surprise this was.
It was like being in a larger than life Jane Austen bookclub, and yet each of the participants in this book club like read had their own personalities, lives, struggles, and wonderful human connections.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley, drama
This is the ideal novel for lovers of Jane Austen's novels, as I am. This is the fictitious story of a group of residents of Chawton and a couple of outsiders who form the Jane Austen Society in the late '40s to keep her books and memories safe. The relationships between the various members of the society are fun to read, and the book ends well. Now I need to re-read my JA, especially Emma.

Many thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this wonderful book.
Sigrid C
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise for this book is a good one: a group of people living in Chawton (and elsewhere) band together during the post-war period and their own personal troubles to create a Jane Austen House Museum on the property where Austen wrote her final novels. For Austen fans, and especially those who've visited the House Museum, this is pretty irresistible.

I found this a mostly decent read, although it is a little plodding at times. The author relies a bit too heavily on telling us about characters
Elizabeth Penney
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a giveaway (first time ever and wow, it was worth it). This is historic fiction of the type I love--a delicious setting, intriguing and fully developed characters, and a focus on an aspect of history that is fascinating and fun to read: Jane Austen's village and legacy. A perfect escape to curl up with by the fire or on the beach.
Sambath Meas
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a few books I would like to teleport myself into and The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner is one of them. It follows 8 people and 7 of whom are traumatized by personal losses. They come together over their shared love of books, specifically that of Jane Austen. For a few hours or more they become mentally and spiritually transported into the times and worlds of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. The other three books (Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and ...more
Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The Jane Austen Society”
Written by Natalie Jenner
Reviewed by Diana Iozzia

“The Jane Austen Society” is about a small town in England, in which Jane Austen and family lived for some of the time that she wrote some of her hits. In this town, around 12 fictional characters interact, fall in love, befriend each other, and create a society dedicated to her, using her old home as a meeting ground. This tale is a bit fairy-tale like, with characters reflecting some of their favorites from Austen’s
Carlos Silva
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Do you ever stop and think how lucky we are, the way we get to live here every day, like Jane Austen did?”

I am not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I was so incredibly pleased! I am also not the most passionate Jane Austen aficionado (I much rather simpatize with the character of Frances Knight in preferring the Brontës) but I didn’t drown in intertextuality and references as I thought I would – though though there are some cleverly subtle relations between Jenner’s characters and
Nov 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
"The Jane Austen Society" is a unique book, mixing the passion of books, of authors of the caliber of Jane Austen wit a full understanding of emotions of friendly characters.
This is the kind of reading that makes you happy and sad at the same time. Sad, because every page you turn makes you closer to the end of the story. You'll know you'll have to say goodbye to the world and characters created by Nathalie Jenner, yet you cannot help it, you have to read. It is difficult to describe the story,
Carolyne | Jane Austen Bookstagrammer
The novel tells the story of a disparate group of Chawton residents and Jane Austen lovers who, at the end of WWII, band together to preserve her legacy. The story is a blend of meticulously researched fact and fiction that will leave you wishing that the fictional parts were true and running to your nearest library to find out more about the facts. As you would expect (and hope) Austen references abound; the characters discuss and quote from her novels throughout the book while some even get to ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful story of a tiny village, Chawton. Linking the people is their love for the famous author, Jane Austen and preserving her memories. The story was set in the 1940's and full of compassion and the healing power of a tight-nit community. The relationships between various people were fun and sad at the same time.
If your a fan of Jane Austen, you will want to read!

Thank you publisher and NetGalley for the eARC.
Amy Lynn
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read! It was fun learning about Jsne Austen's life. The characters may be fictional, but the places exist. It is quite an inspiring story about how The Jane Audten Society formed and became what it is today.
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Natalie Jenner was born in England and emigrated to Canada as a young child. She obtained her B.A. and her LL.B. from the University of Toronto, where she was the 1990 Gold Medalist in English Literature at St. Michael's College, and was Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1995. In addition to a brief career as a corporate lawyer, Natalie has worked as a recruiter, career coach, and consultant to ...more