The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
I picked up this book because I recently read Fowler’s more recent book, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and because I love Jane Austen. However, despite loving Elizabeth Bennett more than chimps, I liked We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves more than this book. There’s something in Fowler’s style that’s kind of off-the-wall, and that’s especially well-suited for a narrator who was raised with a chimp and therefore is kind of uncertain about how human interaction works. Either that or Fowler’s just improved.
I didn’t find much in this book very surprising. It gave me no real new insight on Jane Austen. The characters seemed so different that it was hard to believe that they were friends and would be in a book club together. It was kind of predictable that the only man in the book club, who was of course single, would end up paired up with one of the ladies. (“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man attending a book club is in want of a wife.”) It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either.