Reading guide for The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

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The Jane Austen Society

A Novel

by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner X
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
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  • First Published:
    May 2020, 320 pages

    Jul 2021, 336 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kelly Hydrick
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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  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?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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