And welcome to post number two of today, the first week of June really is a busy book week. Another big thank you to Orion Books for getting me involved in this blog tour, and for the sheer joy of listening to this Audiobook.
In the small village of Chawton not long after the second world war, a very different group of people band together, unified by their love of one thing: Jane Austen. A hundred and fifty years previously, this village was the last home of Jane Austen, who wrote in The Big House, now home only to a few distant relatives and their dwindling estate. As the legacy is threatened, the unlikely group – from a local laborer to a Hollywood movie star – come together to celebrate their unifying factor, and each recover from their personal pains.
The Jane Austen Society is the ultimate comfort read of the year, and with the additional relaxation of Richard Armitage’s voice on the audio book, what more could you possibly need right now than the book playing and a comfortable chair?
What Natalie Jenner has managed to capture here is a little piece of magic. The ability to talk about Austen, which some still find intimidating, via talking about the love others have for her work is sheer brilliance. Personally I’m a big lover of Jane Austen, but I tried to look at this book often from the perspective of someone who might not be as emotionally involved. With everything that happens in the novel, you can’t help connecting to the famous author, and even finding you have a personal favourite of the works by Austen that are mentioned.
Each character is carved out with a deliberate balance between the tender and the blunt, coming to life as the story progresses, jumping out from both page and headphones to stand right before you. Privy to thoughts and actions, we see them grow and change as they influence one another on their paths, crisscrossing and changing in patterns of beautiful humanity.
Throughout the people we meet and their journeys, they have all come to find solace in their books, the discussions around them, and the impact those discussions have. It’s almost like watching the first book bloggers meeting. Personally just reading how much joy others were finding in books brought joy to me, and so although there are bittersweet and uncomfortable moments throughout the novel, this really is a book to brighten up the darkness.
Thank you again to Orion Books for involving me in the blog tour for this book, which comes with my highest recommendation for almost everyone out there.