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The Jane Austen Society: a lovely work of historical fiction for fans of Ms. Austen - and who isn't?

I love Jane Austen. Chances are, you do too. Her books are classics and her stories have found their way to the movie screen so many times that her characters now feel like old friends. If you are also a fan, there is so much to enjoy in The Jane Austen Society.

Set in Chawton, the Hampshire village where Austen lived out her short life, a group of lonely and sad people come together in 1945 to transform a cottage on Austen’s brother’s family estate into a museum as a tribute to the author’s legacy. The people who come together form the heart of this touching story. We meet a doctor who is grieving over the loss of his wife. He serves the entire village yet who is helping him? A Hollywood actress is a huge fan of Jane Austen. While a huge star, she knows that she is aging and younger actresses will soon replace her. The daughter of the owner of the estate has given up her life to care for her father, a man who cruelly sabotaged any hope for love and happiness. A farmer who had to give up his dreams of college when his brothers were killed in the war. An incredibly smart 16-year girl who works at the estate. A young English teacher who has faced a series of losses. A lawyer handling the estate’s affairs and a man from Sotheby’s who is entranced by all things Austen.

Throughout the book, many favorite Austen characters are referenced and parallels are drawn to the members of the group and their own lives. Author Natalie Jenner, in an impressive debut, paints a perfect picture of the setting. You can fully envision the surroundings of Chawton.

Enjoy this lovely book.

Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and the author for the opportunity to read an advance copy.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: May 26, 2020.

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