Reading ➺ The Jane Austen Society Author Natalie Jenner –

The Jane Austen Society But one can always read Austen So there is a lot of Jane Austen out there right now As there always is And I don t begrudge anyone the love HOWEVER as someone who would love to see some of her other literary favourites I am looking at you, miniseries of Villette get attention, I often feel that every time I approach something Austen I will be seeing something I have seen before.For example, on first glance, you might look at this and think hey It s the Jane Austen Book Club 40s Style That is not the case There are few cases, actually, where a writer decides to use fiction as a thesis as an outlet to posit her reflections about her relationship with Austen as well as inspire us to think about Austen in a different way With the exception of the excellent if very different The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay, and Charlie Lovett s First Impressions , this is the height of wielding a literary figure s life and legacy to help us understand our own foils and foibles, trials and triumphs Expertly researched with an immediately engaging narrative whose omniscient tendencies pull you in tight and are as warmly knitted as a cozy on a Brown Betty tea pot, The Austen Society never once talks down to its readers It never goes over the plots of Austen like a bludgeon rather it assumes the initiated will fall head over heels with the treatment of their favourite Austen books and the uninitiated will be immediately inspired to dash and pick up the one or several books they missed This book is told with a gentle philosophy and a cherished connection that welcomes the reader into a world shared by a common interest More still, it beckons you to revisit Austen again beyond what we ve turned her into But over inspires you to read her in a new way From servant girl to seductive film producer, the universal appeal of Austen is done in a focused way We find Austen here not in the general but in the subtle and nuanced interpretations of timeless characters If Austen s greatest strength is the humane appeal of her flawed and dimensional characters stretching centuries so they could easily fit into the wheel of whatever era is turning , so Jenner s thesis is that we are not unlike these faraway characters on a shelf Their flaws and foibles triumphs and ultimate desire for love are what make her so resonant Because we are Austen s characters And she chooses to spotlight other people as equally humane and resounding in a world torn by war and death Humanity Through Austen, through tenuous connection and intentional community, Jenner recreates the same experience Of lush rural settings like patchwork quilts dotted by sheep of grand estates and country parishes Austen is always with us because we do not change Not truly Nor does our grief, nor do our hopes, nor do the little things that throw us off completely Just as the rehearsal of a play mimics the courtship ritual in Mansfield Park a bunch of young people half related to each other putting on a play so they can make out with all the people they are not supposed to , so a hidden letter can shift the course of an estate s future It deftly balances as homage to Austen in word and conversation and ode to Austen by replicating what is at the core of her stories But perhaps, most powerfully, it is a call to revisit a textual world we ve minimized to numerous adaptations So many Jane Austen fans are fans of one interpretation of her work This inspires you to tuck again beneath the pages and not allow a director or star to speak for the power of the slightest wordplay that will never transpose rightly to screen In actress Mimi s inclusion and the Hollywood angle we see Jenner stating the case as a production of Sense and Sensibility hilariously Willoughby heavy takes fictional stage in a mirror of our own era s propensity to re film these again and again You see things form characters who teach you perspectives wrought of their own emotional intelligence similar social construct and personal histories Jane Austen is a buoy for grief stricken hands reached out and the balm of laughter She s the winsome wise sage and the matchmaker through the ache of nostalgia and the promise of something else And it s constant An anchor It s the power of reading and escapism and the pages we turn until they re thin beneath our fingers It was so huge It was as if a whole other world were inside him, so big that he couldn t see it without somehow getting completely out of his own way And the book offers surprising vantage Even a Hollywood scoundrel who wants to seduce women gets a turn at preconceived Austen notions while villagers who pass at church and Christmas functions in often silent communication finally find words when they can speak in Darcy and Pemberley, obstinate, head strong girl and Henry Crawford The insight of each character into Austen is a gateway to understanding their dynamics and relationships But also heightens their instinct and understanding of the relationships around them Austen is the portal to interpreting a glance a comma placement in a letter a breath or a touch or an umbrella shared She is the dictionary on a language of love and friendship that allows this society to rebuild the very finest of warm and compassion and ultimately human moments as they repair from a time when humans wrecked each other The Austen Society is a restoration of love of literature of a small village slowly returning to its shrines to a great writer but also finding its character again A community forged Families chosen Hearts exchanged Food and clothing are rationed still But these characters have something in bottomless abundance But also a rallying cry to return to the source material as we spiral out in our modern media, a reminder that Austen is a sense of restoration and reconciliation especially here when pitted against a world trying to rebuild How real, how human she seems now Exactly in grief and relation in love and in loss at the book end two horrible wars at the uncertainty of the future From what was to me a glaringly new perspective on Anne Eliot s measurement of grief for her mother against her relationship with Wentworth, to the highlight of Knightley s careful consideration of Emma s unread reading list, it begs you to put Jonny Lee Miller away for just an afternoon in exchange for a trip back into the wit and wonder of Austen s words And that s exactly what Austen gives us A world so part of our own, yet so separate that entering it is like some kind of tonic Even with so many flawed and even silly characters, it all makes sense in the end It may be the most sense we ll ever get to make out of our own messed up world This human author reflects our humanity back to us through centuries and in the careful curation of her work and legacy, Natalie Jenner s resplendent debut does the same. 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 different people living in the immediate aftermath of WWII, all of whom are ardent fans of Austen They form a society devoted to the preservation of her memory, and work to turn part of the estate into a museum Indeed, this work explores the hold Austen continues to have over us to this day.I was looking forward to reading this on the blurb about Austen and the setting alone What I found was than I had hoped Themes of hope, loss, grief, betrayal and love were powerful I felt for Adeline, Ben, and Francis as if they were my own family.It was a privilege to read this ARC Many thanks to Goodreads for hosting this giveaway and to St Martin s Press for providing this review copy I cannot recommend it enough to those who love Jane Austen, to though who love historical fiction, to anyone who just loves a good story. 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 RemarkableOne 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 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 Distant Tragedies, They Rally Together To Create The Jane Austen SocietyA Powerful And Moving Novel That Explores The Tragedies And Triumphs Of Life, Both Large And Small, And The Universal Humanity In Us All, The Jane Austen Society Is Destined To Resonate With Readers For Years To Come 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. 3.5 Stars Review to follow. Giveaway win 4.5 starsIf 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 common they love Jane Austen They all want to keep her memory and works alive so they come together to forge The Jane Austen Society You get conversations about Jane s stories, about the different ways of dealing with grief, about everyday conversations that happen in a small town, and maybe even some romance I really enjoyed this story and the characters All it does is feed into my love of Austen and desperately wanting to go England Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Well, this is something I need in my life. 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 Exquisite 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 early 1800 s , they see themselves clearly and one another Love is in the air Austen style For those of you, who don t do romance , I promise this isn t today s romance It isn t trashy or full of sexually steamy flirtations and sex scenes This is a story of wanting and needing to be loved and loving others to the point of wanting what is best for them, even if it isn t for you It is about understanding what makes another person spark and appreciating their unique traits rather than their superfluous characteristics that others use to define them.The writing was glorious We observed each key player in their environs with great interest as they spoke or acted out of their motivations Ms Jenner is supremely talented in creating a scene and people that you can see as if you were spying on them As we observe the leaves falling, and a quiet walk along a path, we sense the inhibitions and the words not spoken by each unfulfilled heart Be patient, dear reader for in Austen style, you will be rewarded.Even if romance isn t your thing, perhaps this delightful story can bring a smile to your face Cheerio Thank you to the author, publisher and Goodreads for affording me an opportunity to read this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.P.S I would like to add, I never considered myself a Jane Austen fan, due to the fact that I was not guided toward her writings in school Living in the Deep South at least in my area , there wasn t a big urgency to contemplate the greats Sadly, as I age I realize how cheated I have been, and I will make greater efforts to compensate for the deficiencies Point of fact, I haven t even read Austen or the Brontes.

About the Author: Natalie Jenner

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

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