The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

There had been a lot of hype about The Jane Austen Book Club and I knew it was supposed to take place “in a California river town” but it was pretty clearly referring to Sacramento. I spent many of my teen years in Modesto, Fresno, Stockton and Sacramento, so it was sort of like homecoming to read a novel set in those environs.

The book itself is the story of five women and one man who read and discuss each of Austen’s works. I have to confess that I never appreciated Austen when I was required to read it in high school, but I’m considering renewing my acquaintance with her on the basis of this book, which was a funny, sad, sweet, and very realistic portrayal of real women in many stages of life. As the lone man, Grigg served mostly as contrast.

This book is not one that requires home theater sconces and dramatic music, and is better read sitting on a sunny porch with a glass of iced tea.

The movie that was adapted from it happened to be next on my Blockbuster queue, so I watched the movie almost immediately after finishing the book, and I was not disappointed by either.

Good read.