Review: The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

My Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads: "In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her character more appealing. The results is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, united two great writers of brilliant social comedy."

I saw the movie before learning that it was based on a "bestselling novel" and since I enjoyed the movie and Jane Austen (and the dreamy Hugh Dancy) I wanted to read the novel. However, I was left...unimpressed.
     Normally, whenever I pick up a book, it takes me a day or two, at most a week if I'm really busy, to finish it. This book took me almost two months to read and I only forced myself to finish it. I had a hard time getting into it and trying to understand who the narrator was. Eventually, I just decided to just go ahead and read, and skim if need to, and just finish the book.
     I didn't care much for the characters, except maybe Grigg and I believe I only like him since I know Hugh Dancy played him in the movie. The others just never really sold me and I really couldn't identify with any of them. Another issue I had with the novel were the back stories. I know we need characters' back stories in order to understand their motivations and who they are, but I feel like all the back stories and flashbacks were too much and not enough time was spent in present time, moving the plot further.
     The ending just seems to tidy up everything and at that point I didn't even care what happened. Except for Allegra's ending. I never would have have forgiven Corinne, but hey, to each their own.
     I definitely prefer the movie to the book, instead.


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