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.
Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge how soothing and relaxing Richard Armitage’s voice is? I can honestly say his voice gave The Jane Austen Society an entirely different dimension that I was more than happy to indulge in!
I’ve had a bit of a Jane Austen reading spree lately, having read and loved The Other Bennet Sister and currently reading Charlotte. So I was more than happy to throw in the audiobook version of The Jane Austen Society.
This book really surprised me. I was expecting (wrongly) for a group of middle-class, middle-aged women running around squawking about her legacy. What I got was a disparate group of men and women with a love of her work, all with their own stories and emotional baggage. The male figures particularly surprised me, with their refusal to hide away their love of her work. The characters feel progressive without being unrealistic.
Jenner’s writing is quietly but proudly feminist and works to break down barriers between the classes. There are also some vindictive, controlling characters to give the story an edge.
The Jane Austen Society serves as a reminder of how a love of books can bring anyone and everyone together, particularly to fight a worthy cause.
If you’re looking for a relaxing read or listen with an engaging plot, The Jane Austen Society comes highly recommended.
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Will you be reading The Jane Austen Society? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a bookish week,