BKMT READING GUIDES

Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner

Published: 2021-07-06T00:0
Paperback : 336 pages
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Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to preserve Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal ...
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Introduction

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to preserve Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all.

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Discussion Questions

1. There is a wide range of major characters in The Jane
Austen Society. Which of the eight main characters was
your favorite? Which of their personal stories did you find
the most satisfying? Which one do you most identify with
and why?

2. Jane Austen’s writing – and the characters’ love of
her writing – is what brings them together. If you are
a fan of Jane Austen, what is your favorite book and
why? If not, then which of her books are you now most
interested in reading?

3. Several of the characters are living with – and, to
differing extents, dealing with – the grief of losing a close
loved one. Did you find yourself sympathizing with one
of them more than the others? What about their story
touched you the most?

4. Most of The Jane Austen Society takes place in the 1940s,
right after World War II. Given that it was a very different
time, with very different attitudes, what aspect revealed
in the novel seemed the most familiar to your experience?
What seemed the most changed since that time?

5. Mimi Harrison is in sharp contrast to the rest of the
characters – she’s from the U.S., she’s a movie star, she has
wealth far beyond the rest of the characters. Beyond their
shared love of Jane Austen’s work, what traits do you think
she has most in common with the rest of the characters?
Which other character does she best complement?

6. Adam Berwick has to make an important decision – one
that will not only affect the Society but his family as well.
Do you think he made the right decision? Why?

7. What surprised you the most about the book? Were there
any plot developments you did not expect?

8. There are many obvious and more subtle allusions to
Austen’s own plots and characters throughout the book.
If you’re familiar with Austen, which parallels did you
particularly notice? Which ones most delighted you?

9. What expectations did you have of this book entitled The
Jane Austen Society? What plotlines surprised you? Which
ones developed in the way you expected?

10. What do you imagine happened to the Society and to the
members after the end of the book?

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