Happy Friday, dear readers! In anticipation of the paperback release of one of my favorite novels of 2020, I have re-read The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner. Like Austen’s novels, I have picked up on new insights into the characters and themes and see the story in a new light. I highly recommend a re-read and envy those who will be discovering the story for the first time.
The paperback edition released this week on July 6th and it is packed with exciting extras:
- A map illustrating the town of Chawton and the homes of the characters
- A Reader’s Guide which includes:
- A Conversation with Natalie Jenner,
- An Exclusive Author Essay: Prescribing Jane Austen for Difficult Times
- Recommended Reading
- Reading Group Questions
For those unfamiliar with the novel here is a description from the publisher and a link to our review.
“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” ―Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
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.
A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.
In celebration of the paperback release of The Jane Austen Society, I brought together two of my favorite Austen-inspired writers and asked them to do an “Author Chat.” Syrie James, author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, and Jane Austen’s First Love, agreed to interview Natalie Jenner. What transpired was pure magic revealing insights into Natalie and Syrie’s writing, shared admiration of Jane Austen, and talk of a pilgrimage together to England. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Author Natalie Jenner has generously offered a giveaway of three paperback copies of The Jane Austen Society open to international readers. Just leave a comment before 11:59pm Pacific time July 16th sharing what you are most looking forward to in reading it. Three winners will be drawn and announced on Saturday, July 17, 2021. Good luck to all.
UPDATE: WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Thank you to all who participated in the giveaway. Congrats to the three lucky winners drawn at random. I will email each of you to obtain your addresses.
- Carole Penfield who left a comment on July 13, 2021
- Claire who left a comment on July 10, 2021
- Susan Helm who ledt a comment on July 09, 2021
The Jane Austen Society: A Novel, by Natalie Jenner
St. Martin’s Griffin (July 6, 2021)
Trade paperback (336) pages
Book cover and description complements of St. Martin’s Griffin, video © Natalie Jenner and Syrie James; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, Austenprose.com