June 2020 Indie Next List
“Utterly and wonderfully charming! The residents of Chawton, England, who seem to have nothing in common, come together by their love for the writings of Jane Austen. They quickly come to realize that true friendship depends on nothing but a caring heart and the willingness and courage to be open to others. This is a book to read again and again whenever your faith in humanity is threatened.”
— Sandi Madore, Magnolia's Bookstore, Seattle, WA
"Richard Armitage is an excellent choice of narrator for this celebration of the famed British author's work. His deep, resonant voice meanders through the stories of seven different people in the small English town of Chawton...a great casual listen, especially for those familiar with Austen's work." -- AudioFile Magazine
This program includes a bonus conversation between the author and Kathleen A. Flynn, author of The Jane Austen Project.
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 listeners for years to come.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press
"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
"Anyone seeking an antidote to contemporary chaos will find a welcome respite among the members of a group whose outer lives may appear simple, but whose inner lives need the kind of balm Austen knew well." -- Washington Post
"Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner's first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships, all largely set within and reflecting the often intrusive atmosphere of a small country community...The pleasures are many in this clever tribute to the beloved and endlessly influential Austen and the English village tale.” -- Booklist, starred review
About the Author
Natalie Jenner was born in England, raised in Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto with consecutive degrees in English Literature and Law. She worked for decades in the legal industry and also founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. A lifelong devotee of all things Jane Austen, The Jane Austen Society is her first published novel.
"Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner's book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner's book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that's what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read." —Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is an extremely impressive debut novel populated with fully-developed, nuanced characters that resonate with the kind of humanity that made Ms. Austen's stories so universal and timeless." —Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky
"Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society, which tells the story of an eclectic group of people in a post-World War II English village who come together to save the beloved author's home and legacy. Author Natalie Jenner has penned 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
"The Jane Austen Society is a joyous novel. Written beautifully from the first sentence to the last, Natalie Jenner casts a spell that will have you falling in love with each of her lovingly-drawn characters, with the charming English village in which the story is set, and with Jane Austen herself. I read it straight through, relishing every word and regretting only that it eventually had to end. With tears still in my eyes from the perfect closing scene, I ran to pull a Jane Austen novel from my bookshelf, eager to remain in the magical world Natalie Jenner conjured. In a time where it is so easy to feel we are all at odds with one another, The Jane Austen Society is a beautiful reminder that connection and care are at the heart of the human experience." — Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl
"Prepare to meet 'three or four families in a country village' who embrace their passion and form a literary society in honor of an author whose enduring appeal, after 200 years, reminds us of what should be paramount in our lives: compassion, love, and reading!! The Jane Austen Society is an uplifting tribute to its inspiration and the nobility of the human spirit. Natalie Jenner could be the next Helen Simonson.” —Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It and Austenprose.com