The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club

Average Rating:
Rate this:

A book club discuss the works of Jane Austen and experience their own affairs of the heart in this charming "tribute to Austen that manages to capture her spirit" ( The Boston Globe ).

In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.
Publisher: New York : Putnam
Copyright Date: Β©2004
ISBN: 9781101213261
Characteristics: text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

Related Resources


From Library Staff

Click through to catalog listing for Audiobook format.
Also available in Audiobook format in Hoopla, and eBook format in Libby/OverDrive.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 04, 2020

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book about a book club. I have discovered the only thing more boring than reading jane Austen is reading about people reading Jane Austen. not a fan.

Feb 06, 2020

Judging by the name and synopsis, I understood π˜›π˜©π˜¦ π˜‘π˜’π˜―π˜¦ 𝘈𝘢𝘴𝘡𝘦𝘯 π˜‰π˜°π˜°π˜¬ 𝘊𝘭𝘢𝘣 to be a combination of literary analysis and fiction. Six club membersβ€” five women and a manβ€” meet once every month to discuss one of Austen’s works. Each person has a trauma, worry, or conflict that subsequently guides their mindset as events unfold alongside the novels themselves. ⁣
My biggest problem with this book is its tiny amount of analysis. I was fascinated by each book club member’s individual back story but failed to see any significant connection until the much later, after which I flipped back and finally recognized the alignment. You can say that the whole work is a creative analysis, but it really is too indirect. ⁣
I did enjoy the way each character is aligned to a/the protagonist of a major work β€” taking them from the original work, putting them in a modern setting and making them read their own stories in each other’s company is a super cool concept. That said, although the concept is amazing, Fowler’s writing and execution just do not do it justice. ⁣
A surprise I did pick up from the book is the theory that these works each corresponds with a famous fairytale. The popular comparisons are π˜—π˜³π˜ͺπ˜₯𝘦 𝘒𝘯π˜₯ π˜—π˜³π˜¦π˜«π˜Άπ˜₯π˜ͺ𝘀𝘦 vs. π˜‰π˜¦π˜’π˜Άπ˜΅π˜Ί 𝘒𝘯π˜₯ 𝘡𝘩𝘦 π˜‰π˜¦π˜’π˜΄π˜΅ and π˜”π˜’π˜―π˜΄π˜§π˜ͺ𝘦𝘭π˜₯ π˜—π˜’π˜³π˜¬ vs. 𝘊π˜ͺ𝘯π˜₯𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘒, which is somewhat paradoxical since Austen’s supposed to be all realistic and descriptive while fairytales are fairytales. ⁣
But it could be because Austen and the Brothers Grimmes were writing at the same time and responding to similar social phenomena, or it could be that the cores of these stories somehow appeal to the human condition. Or it could be both, or neither... I don’t know. ⁣
For more book reviews, visit me on instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

Dec 19, 2018

Generally - whatever you encounter, first, in the world of stories is the version that you end up liking more. Such is the case here. I really enjoyed the movie and found it so pleasant to watch and make the connections with the Jane Austen novels. This book is good and the way the author presents each character for each month is really intriguing and works for the general plot of the book. I just, as a person who came in knowing the movie first, could not enjoy it to it's fullest.

Aug 07, 2016

I enjoyed her witty style of writing, and was sorry when the book ended. I definitely recommend it even for non-Jane Austen fans. Four stars!

Jan 07, 2016

Boring! Perhaps if I'd read ALL of Jane Austen's novels it would have helped to decipher what each book club member was going on about. I wouldn't recommend it.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 12, 2015

Fowler has fun with this book which has the structure of book club meetings between 5 Californian ladies all very familiar with Austen’s work and one man, Grigg, who still has a lot to learn. There is enough discussion and insight into the novels to keep any Austen fan happy and the added interest of each character bringing their own bias to their interpretation of the characters and plots gives an extra dimension to the readers’ enjoyment. The modern day equivalents of Austen’s themes, even the requisite formal dance, are interwoven with the book club meetings and provide a lively counterpoint to the literary appreciation of nineteenth century society.

skd3 Aug 05, 2011

Book Club

Jul 27, 2010

One comment: Watch the movie, it's much better.

But that being said, the book is still awesome, but this is one case where the movie demonstrates more of the relationships between the characters than the book does. Especially Prudie.

Dec 04, 2009

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I don't mind Jane Austen, but I'm not a "Jane-ite" by any stretch of the imagination. This book changes person (even includes first person plural on a couple of occasions), and provides the viewpoints of all the book club members as they spend the better part of a year reading Austen's canon together. That said, the book is less about Austen and more about the five(?) women and one man, their pasts and presents. It's very funny in some parts and rather devastating in others. I've not seen the film based on this, but I doubt it measures up.

Oct 18, 2009

One of the few times where I enjoyed the movie more than the book.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top