I finished this sometime last week, which seems like ages ago, but with starting my new job (yay!) and the lovely weekend (photos soon), I simply forgot to write this up (oops). It was not for the dislike of the novel — not at all! In fact, I really enjoyed this book. It is a very well-written novel by Karen Joy Fowler following the lives of six bibliophiles, five of who are already Austin-addicts.
You don’t have to have read any of Austen’s novels to follow the book, which was good for me, because it mainly follows the characters in the bookclub itself. I really enjoyed the exploration into the six different characters, their connections, and their attitudes to one another. It was refreshing that they didn’t get along “happy-go-lucky” because that is rarely the case in a social situation. The novel mentions the characters’ idiosyncrasies, annoyances, and habits which really develop well-rounded characters. Very fulfilling.
My only complaint is it is written in a Third Person narrative: “There were six of us“, “We gathered Thursday”… etc. But never is it explained who the narrator is, and you can’t infer from them saying “I” or “me” because they never do. It’s like they want us to feel a part of the bookclub, but in the beginning it really bugged me because I felt like I was missing a character!
If you’re in the same boat as me and haven’t read any Austen, you’re going to really want to after this! I expanded my Austen TBR (to be read) list from two titles, to all six! It was difficult to follow along with the characters they were discussing, but it wasn’t a big deal because it was more about how the characters expressed their opinions and opened up to each other. However, there is a summary of all Austen’s novels in the back of the book (which would have been handy to know ahead of time). Either way, I want to read Austen’s novels, then reread this book!