While The Jane Austen Society will be well received by Jane Austen fans, it might also create some new fans. Even though this isn’t a retelling of a Jane Austen book, it still brings to light the joy that her works carry. It is definitely a book that draws on the power that being a fan has on ensuring the enduring appreciation of literary works through the ages. The Jane Austen Society is also reminiscent of...that certain charm that comes with a group of characters joining up to discuss other literary characters and works. This book contains one of those stories that isn’t overly filled with action scenes, but is more of a cosy story for you to curl up under a blanket with it ... above everything, it is just a really enjoyable read. Given the current global climate, this will be a perfect book to set aside some time with and take your mind off of everything going. It will transport you into the midst of a group of individuals joined together through Austen and at the same time reignite your own passion of all things Austen.
The Jane Austen Society is no Jane Austen novel; its dialogue is not as crisp, its pace a bit flabby. But Jenner keeps things interesting by moving back and forth in time and place as different story lines progress, and by including a few characters Austen could never have anticipated ... Dedicated Janeites will find much to love in these people ... If you’ve never cracked the spine of Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion, you may still adore this sweet, old-fashioned story—but if you do know Austen’s work, you’ll appreciate it all the more. Anyone seeking an antidote to contemporary chaos will find a welcome respite among the members of a group whose outer lives may appear simple, but whose inner lives need the kind of balm Austen knew well.
... a charming story of an unlikely collection of readers who band together to save what remains of Austen's home. Along the way, their shared passion for the author of Pride and Prejudice brings hope, healing and surprising connections into each of their lives in ways that will gratify bibliophiles in general and Janeites in particular ... Knowledge of the works referenced will add to the experience, but the elegant homage that emerges is not metafictive enough for prerequisites. The Jane Austen Society stands on its own as a moving examination of the power of story ... Jenner creates the same feeling of safe suspense. Even though Chawton House's current existence makes the Society's success a foregone conclusion, the desire to see its members come together and rise above their individual struggles builds emotional investment in their goal. While Jenner's narrative is not the true story of the Society's founding, she has created such a sweet and graceful version that readers will likely wish it were.
Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships, all largely set within and reflecting the often intrusive atmosphere of a small country community. Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending, while devoted Austen fans will pore over these pages, savoring the deeper connections between the lives of Jenner’s postwar characters and of Austen’s creations. The pleasures are many in this clever tribute to the beloved and endlessly influential Austen and the English village tale.
More than a passing familiarity with Austen’s work may be a prerequisite to fully appreciating this book—Austen’s characters often seem more real to Jenner’s characters than their own relatives and neighbors. But, thanks to Jenner’s psychologically astute portrayals, the society founders themselves are very real and thoroughly sympathetic. Readers will root for these characters, wishing them Austen-worthy happy endings.
... delightful ... Jenner’s immersive character development is juxtaposed against her study of Austen’s characters, providing clever insight into how the trials of Austen’s life were revealed through her books. The narrative, meanwhile, is rich with references to Austen’s literature and carried along by the strong bonds formed by the characters based on their shared appreciation for her work. Austen-ites are in for a treat.