Rating: 3 / 5
This year’s Around the World in 52 Books reading challenge on Goodreads includes a prompt for a book about reading, books or an author. While I do have many books about books, I spotted THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB by Karen Joy Fowler at my local used bookstore and couldn’t resist checking it out to satisfy my challenge prompt.
THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB is about a group of six people who gather to read and discuss the works of Jane Austen. As they meet and discuss the merits of the various characters and romances and situations, their own lives play out dealing with broken relationships and new romance. The group is comprised of six people: a woman who has recently been left by her husband, her daughter who struggles with her author girlfriend, a dog breeder, a French teacher, a woman known for her many marriages and her long winded stories and one token man who (gasp!) likes other genres including science fiction!
The idea of a book about a book club intrigued me, but I have to say that I left this book feeling okay about it, but not really engaged by the story. It is high on drama, but I didn’t feel particularly compelled by any of the romances being developed and I didn’t feel a close connection to any characters in particular. It was entertaining enough with an interesting premise, but it isn’t a book that will stick with me.
As for the Jane Austen references, I did enjoy the discussion about the books and the book quotes interspersed. I read Jane Austen’s works during college and on deadline for class, so while I remember quite a bit, that was a lot of years ago and I do feel that I should do some revisiting. I likely could have drawn more parallels between Austen’s work and this novel if I had read Austen more recently. I also personally would have loved to see a bit more discussion of Jane Austen given that she is in the title!
Overall, a book that had some good going for it, but overall not a book that I loved.