Book club questions for The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner will cover all the key storylines in this novel and much more. There will be spoilers so for more context about the story, check out my spoiler-free review.
The Jane Austen Society is such a lovely book! I was most engaged with Adeline and Dr. Gray’s storyline but honestly, they’re all so great. It was interesting to read in the author’s note that the people and the events in the novel are fiction but the places are not. I did find myself Googling about the real Jane Austen House Museum. And of course, about Jane Austen herself.
Here’s the synopsis:
Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people―a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others―could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.
Book club questions for The Jane Austen Society
- Are you a fan of Jane Austen? If so, what’s your favorite Jane Austen book? Why do you think her books have such a lasting impact and influence?
- If you’re not a fan of Jane Austen books, or haven’t read them, did that impact the story for you in any way?
- The characters we follow include: Dr. Gray, Adeline, Mimi, Andrew, Frances, Evie, Adam and Yardley. Which storyline and characters were you most engaged with? Which ones the least?
- Each character in this novel has a favorite Jane Austen story and character. What did you think about how they discussed Jane Austen books in this story? Why do you think these characters were so drawn to her stories?
- Much of this novel centered around the concept of grief with these characters being bonded by sorrow. A key example of this is the relationship with Dr. Gray and Adeline who have both experienced unimaginable loss. Early on in the book, they both discuss their favorite Jane Austen stories as they feel a connection through it. Let’s talk about their slow burn relationship.
- Why do you think it was important for these characters to start the Jane Austen Society?
- What did you think about Mimi’s Hollywood storyline? Why do you think the author decided to include an American actress in the story?
- Frances and Andrew were in love when they were young but her father got in the way of their relationship. But they never moved on from that. Let’s first talk about Frances’ complicated relationship with her father and then her late blossom romance with Andrew.
- What did you think about the ending?
- What were some of the key themes that you picked up on in this story?
- Would you ever want to visit the Jane Austen Museum in Chawton, England?
What to Read Next
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Jane Austen Society! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.
James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.