Today I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for newly published The Jane Austen Society! Having won and been nominated for so many awards already, its no wonder everyone has been waiting the arrival of this highly acclaimed historical fiction novel.
About The Book
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 remarkable.
One 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 more 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 more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
What Did I Think?
Being a great lover of classics, I love a good modern spin-off. I had high expectations for this book, yet I was unaware of the full story.
There are some really honest and relatable characters in this book and you can really feel the emotion of the post-WW2 era around the town of Chawton. Most characters, in some way, have been affected by the aftermath of such a devastating war, and the way Natalie Jenner uncovers and explores different types of grief is truly outstanding.
I really enjoyed the concept of fighting to save elements of English history, especially when it drives so much tourism to a small part of England. It amazed me how when I read this book, I was immediately transported into the midst of 1940s England.
There is also an audiobook version of this book available, read by actor Richard Armitage, which I can imagine offers you the chance to fully immerse yourself in the town of Chawton. To listen to an excerpt of the audiobook click here.
About the Author
Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry.
She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.
The Jane Austen Society is her debut novel, which has been published by St Martins Press.