July 28, 2011

Each of Us Has a Private Austen

Every once in a while, a movie is better than the book it is based on. It is a very rare occasion, and it happens with The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club (movie tie-in)

Five women and one man meet monthly to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Each person is responsible for one novel and hosting. In between the meetings, we see a glimpse into their personal lives and feelings. However, the book falls short of comparing the book club members lives to the classic characters. Each of the women have a private Austen. Jocelyn writes about love and courtship, but never married. Sylvia recently divorced her husband and isn't happy. Sylvia's daughter, Allegra, is a lesbian. Bernadette is a colorful, entertaining, knitting, comical genius. Prudie is a somber French teacher but has never been to France. And Grigg is brand new to Austen having never read her books. In fact, Grigg thought they were all sequels. Ha! Their lives are parallel to the characters in which they read and discuss. What an interesting bunch.

Like I said previously, I enjoyed the movie more. It was easier and more entertaining to visualize the characters and the book club's monthly meetings. 

An advantage are the book club questions for discussion that the characters themselves pose. There is also a separate section in the back matter with more questions, opinions and comments from Jane Austen's family and friends, and a brief synopsis of Jane Austen's six novels: EmmaSense and Sensibility, Mansfield ParkNorthanger AbbeyPride And Prejudice and Persuasion. I recommend the book AND movie for classic Jane Austen lovers and book club members. Nice job, Ms. Fowler.

Check out the movie trailer below. **whispering** Pssst! The entire movie can be viewed on YouTube.

Title: The Jane Austen Book Club (movie tie-in)
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Published: May 2005
Pages: 285
Edition: Paperback / Movie
Rating: ♥♥ Paperback / 
♥ Movie

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