Book club inspiration

The Jane Austen Society

Mar 03, 2020



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Junior League of Richmond

Natalie Jenner’s, The Jane Austen Society, is a powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all. This debut novel is a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, England, where Austen lived and wrote or revised her six famous novels. There are eight main characters in the novel, all of whom are obsessed with Austen and conspire to create the society and turn the Austen cottage into a museum in her honor: a WWII war widow, a village doctor, a farmer and local handyman, a town solicitor, a house-girl on the Knight family estate, the anticipated heiress of that estate, an employee of Sotheby's, and a Hollywood actress. Multiple social, romantic, and cultural collisions ensue. Jenner brings all of these disparate characters vividly to life, and you'll root for all of them to find their own happiness. 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.


We love Jane Austen because her characters, as sparkling as they are, are no better and no worse than us. "Natalie Jenner's debut novel will transport readers to another time, causing you to fall in love once more with the works of Austen and her beloved characters.  Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris.


About the Author

Natalie was born in England and emigrated to Canada as a young child. She obtained her B.A. from the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College where she was the 1990 Gold Medalist in English Literature, her LL.B. from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, and was Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1995. In addition to a brief career as a corporate lawyer, Natalie has worked as a recruiter, career coach, and consultant to leading law firms in Canada for over twenty years.  Most recently Natalie founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. A lifelong devotee of all things Jane Austen, THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY is her first published novel.


About the Junior League of Richmond

The Book and Author Event has long been one of the JLR’s largest fundraisers with the funds benefitting the Junior League’s work in the greater Richmond community. The Junior League of Richmond has been involved in key initiatives and advocacy efforts that have improved the well-being of women, children and families. The 75th Book and Author Event will take place on Thursday, May 7th. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, please visit