Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler -- A Book Review

It's a book about a book club.
Six people – five women and a man – meet once a month in California’s Central Valley to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. They are ordinary people, neither happy nor unhappy, but each of them is wounded in different ways, they are all mixed up about their lives and relationships. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable – under the guiding eye of Jane Austen a couple of them even fall in love…
what I had to say: I think this is the first time I enjoyed the movie more then the book. There are books that have been made into movies that I enjoy equally (like Jurassic Park) but usually I like the book 10 times better then the movie (Harry Potter series.) I saw the movie first and found it entertaining so I thought I'd try the book. I felt that the characters background stories to be almost unnecessary and some of them had huge gaping holes in the story. Strange. I just don’t believe that a person’s past is the only thing that defines who they are. I wanted more of a present story. I liked the characters and I wanted to feel more for them, but the author gave me nothing.

I did enjoy it as an inbetween read. It was light and breezy. Entertained me for the moment. Would I read it again? I don't know.

I also thought her quick little reviews on the books in the back for those who may not have read Austen before were very opinionated and against what the book was trying to say. She's saying we all have an Austen in us. Which also would mean that as individuals we would read stories differently enjoy different characters and moments. Yet, the author puts her opinion on certain characters and on the story. How does that work??

Overall I don’t really have a solid opinion on this book. I neither loved it nor hated it. I would say “Proceed with Caution.”

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