review page logo

The Jane Austen Book Club

by Karen Joy Fowler

If world events and winter's onset are getting you down and you want something to lift your spirits, get yourself a copy of The Jane Austen Book Club, go somewhere quiet and get stuck into this novel - it's funny and surprising and a great read.

It is the story of the California Central Valley/River City book club - five women and one man - over the six months that they get together to discuss Jane Austen's novels. During that time marriages are tested, passions are stirred and love blossoms. Each chapter represents a month, a meeting where one of the novels is discussed and focuses on one of the fascinating characters that make up the group and their back-story. It's a smart device and allows a dialogue to develop between the narrative and the Austen novels that will delight devotees. (If you're not a dedicated Austen reader, don't be put off, you don't have to have read a word to enjoy this book.)

Karen Joy Fowler has created a modern day social comedy with all the wit and perception of Jane Austen and set it in the context of the post-modern novel. She cleverly supplies a 'reader's guide' at the end that gives a synopsis of each of Jane Austen's novels; short quotes from criticism throughout the centuries; and, best of all, 'questions for discussion'. These are questions each of the book's characters might have asked. For example, Sylvia asks "Do you ever wish your partner had been written by some other writer, had better dialogue and more charming way of suffering? What writer would you choose?"


The Delabole Bookies
We loved this novel. It's so clever and witty. It made us want to shake up our own book group. Maybe introduce a man or two....

Recommend this site to a friend

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter