Fowler, Karen Joy "The Jane Austen Book Club" - 2004
I'm reading this with an ad hoc online book club a friend started to read this and Jane Austen's books. Since I just reread all of them, I am refering you to the link here for my reviews of them.
I'm afraid this book does not give Jane Austen any credit. The book club is like many of the clubs my friends have told me about - and I once briefly was a member of one, too, but left it rather quickly since I would love to talk about the books we read, not gossip about everything but books. The sticker on the cover "Richard & Judy's Book Club" should have rung huge bells. I will let that be a warning to me.
Do they ever talk about the books? Has Karen Joy Fowler even read any of them? If she did, she doesn't know how to talk about a book because I am under the impression she hasn't even opened any of these fabulous novels. Why else would she construct a story around Jane Austen without even getting into her writings?
A disappointing read. I only finished it so we can talk about it in our little group.
From the back cover: "In California's Sacramento Valley, six people meet once a month to discuss Jane Austen's novels. They are ordinary people, neither happy nor unhappy, but all wounded in different ways, all mixed up about their lives and their relationships. Over the six months they meet marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and, under the guiding eye of Jane Austen, some of them even fall in love . . ."
There were, however, some other books mentioned in the book, apart from all the Jane Austen novels:
Henlein, Robert A. "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Junger, Sebastian "The Perfect Storm"
LeGuin, Urusla K. "The Left Hand of Darkness"
LeGuin, Ursula K "The Lathe of Heaven"
LeGuin, Urusla K. "Searoad"
Radcliffe, Ann "The Mysteries of Udolpho"
Rand, Ayn "The Fountainhead"
Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Lord of the Rings"