Monday, July 13, 2020

Audio Review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Publication Date: May 26th by MacMillan Audio
Audio Book Length: 9 hrs 55 min
Narrator: Richard Armitage
Source: Publisher &
Pages: 320

About the book:

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.

My Thoughts:
The story takes place in Chawton, England, the final home of Jane Austen where several of the residents deal with grief and loss while taking some comfort in reading Jane Austen’s work. The characters come from very different backgrounds, social and economic: a farmer, widow, movie star, doctor, student, an antiquity agent, but they’re united by their affection of Austen’s work.  When they find out the Jane Austen’s home and library are threatened, they band together to preserve her history. 

While this is taking place there are side stories: Adeline and Ben’s story was my favorite, but all were captivating.  The young widow Adeline and Dr. Ben Gray, several years older, are friends, but you sense the longing they feel underneath. Ben and Adeline comfort each other through tragedy and I was on pins and needles waiting for them to admit how much they loved each other.

There were some parallels to the romances in Ms. Austen’s stories and I enjoyed how the characters pointed out favorite passages and the deeper thoughts and motivations behind them.

The Jane Austen Society was a heartwarming, lovely story that I’d recommend to any reader, Austen fan or not. I’m a huge fan of Richard Armitage as an actor so to have narrate this story was a treat! He did a fabulous job with both the male and female voices.

4 Suns


  1. I really like the sound of the side stories being woven into the main plot. And it sounds like the narration work was excellent!

  2. It was a gentle story, but I found it very touching. And, RA, yes!!!!

    1. I thought so too, and I loved the way it all turned out.

  3. This is more Sophia's area but I certainly like Arrmitrage.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. This one's been on my bookish radar, but I think I need to move it up the list and read it sooner rather than later. :)

  5. great review. glad you enjoyed it
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. I've heard some really positive things about this one, especially from die-hard Austen fans.