February 2, 2009

The Jane Austin Book Club

I'm really not up to doing full book reviews, replete with literary allusions and knowledgeable analysis. I don't want to go to work every time I read a book. So I am giving myself permission to do book reviewettes: reviews lite.

I just finished The Jane Austin Book Club which I liked, but didn't love.

There were several times that I laughed out-loud, and several hearty chuckles, but I won't reread it or force my circle of readers to read it. Here's my favorite line from the whole book:

She’d recently announced that she was, officially, letting herself go. ‘I just don’t look in the mirror anymore’ she’d told us. ‘I wish I’d thought of it years ago . . .
Alas, this line came early in the book and my funny bone spent the rest of the pages wishing for another tickle. The characters and their relationships with one another are indeed well-crafted and enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with the book at all so I ought to have liked it more than I did, but I didn't. When it was over I was pleased that I could move on to the next one. That's not a great sign. If you NEED a book to read, you could do worse, but I wouldn't make a point of reading this one.

That being said, if you ever wished for a brief plot synopses of the Austin novels, Karen Joy Fowler provides some very nice ones at the end of her novel. I may keep the book around just for that.



  1. Wow, I had almost the exact same response to the book! It wasn't bad, just not great. Very light, easily forgettable entertainment. I also would never reread it, and in fact already donated it back to the used book store. I'd never actually recommend it to someone, but neither would I recommend that someone avoid it. I'm strongly neutral about this one :)

  2. I reviewed this one awhile back. As a HUGE Jane Austen fan I enjoyed it. If you're very familiar with Austen's works the different situations that pop up in this book make a lot more sense. I heard the movie was terrible though. I tried watching the first ten minutes or so and have to concur. The best thing about this book though was her writing, she's definitely a very quotable writer.


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