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The Jane Austen Society: A Novel

The Jane Austen Society: A Novel

by Natalie Jenner

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Overview

* INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER *

"This novel delivers sweet, smart escapism."
People

"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 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.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250248732
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/26/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 230,406
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Natalie Jenner was born in England, raised in Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto with consecutive degrees in English Literature and Law. She worked for decades in the legal industry and also founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. A lifelong devotee of all things Jane Austen, The Jane Austen Society is her first published novel.

Reading Group Guide

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.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.


1. There is a wide range of major characters in The Jane Austen Society. Which of the eight main characters was your favorite? Which of their personal stories did you find the most satisfying? Which one do you most identify with and why?

2. Jane Austen’s writing – and the characters’ love of her writing – is what brings them together. If you are a fan of Jane Austen, what is your favorite book and why? If not, then which of her books are you now most interested in reading?

3. Several of the characters are living with – and, to differing extents, dealing with – the grief of losing a close loved one. Did you find yourself sympathizing with one of them more than the others? What about their story touched you the most?

4. Most of The Jane Austen Society takes place in the 1940s, right after World War II. Given that it was a very different time, with very different attitudes, what aspect revealed in the novel seemed the most familiar to your experience? What seemed the most changed since that time?

5. Mimi Harrison is in sharp contrast to the rest of the characters – she’s from the U.S., she’s a movie star, she has wealth far beyond the rest of the characters. Beyond their shared love of Jane Austen’s work, what traits do you think she has most in common with the rest of the characters? Which other character does she best complement?

6. Adam Berwick has to make an important decision – one that will not only affect the Society but his family as well. Do you think he made the right decision? Why?

7. What surprised you the most about the book? Were there any plot developments you did not expect?

8. There are many obvious and more subtle allusions to Austen’s own plots and characters throughout the book. If you’re familiar with Austen, which parallels did you particularly notice? Which ones most delighted you?

9. What expectations did you have of this book entitled The Jane Austen Society? What plotlines surprised you? Which ones developed in the way you expected?

10. What do you imagine happened to the Society and to the members after the end of the book?

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