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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Jane Austen Book Club, from Tasheena

The Jane Austen Book ClubThe Jane Austen Book Club
By Karen Joy Flower

              There are two reasons why I choose The Jane Austen Book Club to review. First off I really enjoyed the movie and second I always wanted to be in a Jane Austen book club. Yes, I was a strange child. But the idea of coming together with others that love reading to talk about Austen’s books always seemed fascinating (and one never tires of calling Wickham a cad!).
              In the novel we follow six Californians over six months as they discuss Jane Austen and face the realties’ of life. Each month is dedicated to one member and one Austen book. In the beginning we are told that each person has their own private Austen and we discover who Austen is to each member.
              The book had a solid beginning, between the discussions and flashbacks of characters I found it fun and interesting. The point of view makes the reader feel like they are a part of the club itself and are sitting on the porch or in the living room listening to different opinions and ideas. But somewhere along the third or fourth section the book becomes more about the members and Jane gets a little left behind. Don’t get me wrong the characters, though a bit stereotypical, are compelling enough to carry the book. I just would have loved to hear as much discussion about Persuasion as Emma. Also the Pride and Prejudice month was a bit of a disappointment save for Bernadette’s stories.
              The members of the book club are very likable and Flower does a good job of making them either relatable or entertaining. The only major annoyance to me was how the ladies treated Grigg, the only male member, who with Bernadette was one of my favorite members. I know good characters have flaws but I didn’t feel  like the reader was given any solid reason why Grigg was meet with such resistance, other than him being male (I guess that was a good enough reason for the ladies).
Even though I had some disappointments with the novel I do believe that it is a good read and if you liked the movie then you would most likely enjoy the book as well. With the summer fast approaching I would recommend taking this book on one’s travels (even if you are just traveling to the porch).

Review by T.R. Smith


  1. I loved this book, too. I picked it as a graduation gift for a friend - and ended up reading the book myself first (yeah, I know, shame on me :/).

    Grigg was my favourite character. I just wanted to smother him with hugs!

  2. Really cute.I think Austen Club sounds promising ;p

  3. I want to read this! I have seen the movie and loved it! Thanks for the review!

  4. I agree that the book is pretty fun, and I think the movie is true to it. Since my JASNA regional group is fairly small, we function as a book club and believe me, it is fun to get together with like-minded sorts to debate who was worse, Wickham or Willoughby.

  5. I read this book a while go thinking it would be a good introduction to Jane Austen. Embarrassingly, I've only read (and loved) P&P. And maybe because I wanted more Austen than it gave, but the book disappointed me incredibly.

    Then, through happenstance, I watched the movie on television a couple of months ago. The movie was okay - and better than the book (IMO) - but still it didn't do it for me.

  6. I read this book and really enjoyed it. Like most books, it's better than the movie, although the lone male member in the club, Grigg, was played by Hugh Dancy in the movie. He's such eye candy that I really didn't mind. :D

  7. Amen, LilMissMolly! Mmm, Hugh Dancy...


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