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The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler | Book Review

The name Jane Austen has come to symbolise the romance, the wit and the conjugal happiness of the 18th Century England. The six stories written by her have proved to be evergreen. Generations past have enjoyed them and without a doubt generations to come will. At any point of time, there are going to be millions of ‘Austenites’ in this world. We meet a few of them in the funny little book called ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’. While the premise is good, the author doesn’t seem to exploit it to the fullest.

Book Title : The Jane Austen Book Club
Author :
Publisher : Plume
Purchase Links : Buy The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler @ Amazon.com

The book club comprises of Jocelyn, Sylvia, Bernadette, Prudie, Allegra and Grigg. They all have a favourite Austen and the book gives us a few glimpses of each of their lives along with their opinion on each of the Jane Austen novels. The writer doesn’t say much about any of them leaving that sense of shadows in their lives where you want to move in and put the colours yourself. Though not deeply emotional or amusingly witty, this book is readable.

I loved the quotes at the end though. It provides a nice summation of how critics’ opinions have changed about the works of Jane Austen herself. Here are a few samples:

Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching….

– Virginia Woolf (1913).

Jane lies in Winchester – blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!
And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street remain,
Glory, love, and honor unto England’s Jane

Rudyard Kipling (1924)


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