Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $30.38

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The international best seller.

Only a few months after the end of the Second World War, a new battle is beginning in the little village of Chawton. Once the final home of Jane Austen, the Chawton estate is dwindling and the last piece of Austen's heritage is at risk of being sold to the highest bidder....  

Drawn together by their love of her novels, eight very different people - from a local farmer to a glamorous film star - must unite to attempt something remarkable. As new friendships form and the griefs of the past begin to fade, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society and to save the beloved novelist's home and legacy. But can her words change all their lives in return?

A heartbreaking and uplifting novel of hope, loss and love. Perfect for fans of Miss Austen by Gill Hornby and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

©2019 Natalie Jenner (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A wonderful book, a wonderful read." (Karen Joy Fowler, best-selling author of The Jane Austen Book Club)

"A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the power of books to unite and heal." (Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris)

What listeners say about The Jane Austen Society

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    73
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book! Would read again!

Wonderful read/listen. The story kept me enthralled, with the characters being so rich and grounded. I was curious about the narration at first, being that it was performed by a man and there were several female characters to read. But the voices and accents are done so well I often forgot I was listening to a man! I finished the book in only a few sittings and found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn't listening. I, like others was expecting slightly more romance, but I was pleasantly surprised and found the love stories to be beautifully written and not disappointing. In the end, I was touched by the character's journeys through grief and loss, and how they all found friendship and love, in their own way. Joined by a common goal and their love of Jane Austen, they were able to discover the healing they needed, right there with each other. Highly recommended the book and this author. I would read again for sure!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A delightful story. Highly recommend it.

Reminded me in style of the Guernsey literary potato peel pie society and I loved it just as much. An odd bunch of characters brought together for a common goal. Of course Richard Armitages rich voice brings the characters both male and female to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen would have approved

Loved the book. So nice to listen to such an uplifting story and so well narrated that l would say it was an excellent performance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JC
  • 23-11-2020

The Jane Austen Society

Thoroughly enthralled by every chapter

Lovely to see it through a mans view

Kept me interested from beginning to end

Will now reread all of Jane Austen’s books

Renewed interest into books I read as a young woman

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Austen fans will feel strangely at home

Austen fans will feel quite at home in the warmth of this story. Jenner insightfully holds up a mirror to the inner workings and interconnectedness of each of the eight main characters, much as Austen did for her characters and in turn, society itself. The setting of Chawton and the personal connections to Austen’s life and family are a fun bonus.

The narration by Richard Armitage felt so fitting. His voice is engaging and yet soothing, and he inhabits each of the characters in a way that makes them relatable and unique. Definitely recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen fan

I enjoyed the story with all the Austen references. I found the narrator's female voices a bit feeble. worth the read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story and tribute

Often a book written in the style of known author and genre falls flat, This does not. It's engaging, well written and narrated and gives you a feel of what people from a community such as the birth place of Jane Austen must have faced. It's humorous, reflective and appropriately emotive. I actually listened to this twice in a row, so cute. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Finest book in a long time!

I haven’t finished this book yet. But I just had to share it with others. I may not finish it as I think I should read it rather than listen to it because it’s so good. I can’t stop listening though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

A great story and a great narrator. Highly recommended. All Jane Austen lovers will enjoy this lovely book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jane Fan

loved it a light happy read and as always Richard Armitage does a brilliant job to bring the story to life.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-07-2020

Perfection

The love of Jane Austen's books shine through this book. I just have the urge to read Jane Austen now. This story stands on it's own but with a heavy influence of Jane.Beautifully written with very human characters. I highly recommend it- I will read it again

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JD
  • JD
  • 31-05-2020

Interesting and enjoyable

The book which is about the forming of a Jane Austen group just after WWII, describes how the 8 people involved set about acquiring Chawton Cottage where JA lived with her family for some years and how they make an attempt to turn it into a museum.

So, what did I think? Well, first of all, I had to get my head around the fact that the characters and the story-line are fictional. Yes, the cottage was acquired just after the war but not by these imaginary characters and not in this way. I kept wanting to google-check things but, in the end, I just sat back and enjoyed it for what it is. I did wonder, however, if this was doing a disservice to the people who actually did set up the museum because I'm sure that many readers will assume that it is all true and give these fictional characters the credit for what must have been, historically, a great achievement. The story moves at a slow, leisurely pace and the first half deals with the main characters and their pasts and what made them decide to get involved in this venture. This might not suit some people but I enjoyed the way that the book took its time. Other listeners will be expecting a 'romance' and, although several are involved, they are only really touched upon and are not the main thrust of the story-line. If anything, the book is more about grief and how different characters deal with it. It is also, of course, about Austen, and the love of JA is what binds the 8 disparate characters together: a doctor, a solicitor, an auctioneer, a farmer, a Hollywood film star, one of the Knight family, a teacher and a servant girl. You can read this without knowing anything about JA but I did enjoy the discussions that the characters have about her and her books. The author also creates at least some of these 8 protagonists in the image of characters from her books and it was fun to spot whom they represented. There was a bit more activity in the second half of the book once the society has been set up and there were also a couple of twists to the story. The ending is a satisfying one.

It is NJ's first novel and I was impressed. It is well-written with only a couple of minor Americanisms. She was born in the UK but emigrated to Canada as a child and I was amazed at how 'English' the story was: she has captured the atmosphere of a small English village, the characters and their turns of phrase as well as any British writer. Well done, that girl!

Richard Armitage's reading was, of course, as marvellous as ever. His women are perfect and I forgot I was listening to a man, and his various accents - posh, local yokel, Scottish, American and Birmingham - all sounded good to me. He must be one of the best audio readers out there and would make a great Dr Gray in any film of this novel.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs. C. M. Mccann
  • Mrs. C. M. Mccann
  • 08-06-2020

Absolutely brilliant

I have loved every single moment of this book. Thank you Natalie Jenner for writing such a fabulous book. I have loved listening to the wonderful voice of Richard Armitage becoming the characters. I could listen to it all over again.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bookylady
  • bookylady
  • 08-06-2020

A heart-warming, feel-good story.

I ripped through this book. Nine and a half hours of blissful listening about eight wonderful characters who come together to save Jane Austen's cottage in Chawton and set up a museum there in her honour. Along the way we learn about their lives, their relationships, their motivations and how they connect with each other.

Superbly plotted, excellent characters and wonderful narration. One of the best books I have listened to. I thoroughly recommend it. Jane Austen lovers will love it.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Louise
  • Louise
  • 03-08-2020

Thoroughly enjoyable, narration was very good

A thoroughly enjoyable story. I thought eight main characters may be hard to follow, but their stories were interwoven and brought together very well. The narration was excellent - Richard Armitage brought the characters to life authentically and with care.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for susan
  • susan
  • 02-06-2020

It grew on me

Thought I wasn't going to enjoy it to begin with. but it was fabulous. and it really drew me in. the characters were realistic and the narration was superb.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2020

Disappointing despite a superb reader

When an audio book comes along read by your favourite narrator and with the subject of one of your favourite authors, you have to get it. Sadly, this was a huge disappointment. Mr Armitage's narration was as beautifully done as ever, but the story lacked drive and focus. The contrived story of the will lacked credibility and there were far too many blunders showing a lack of research into the period. If you are going to set a story 75 years in the past, you need to get the details right! However, worst of all was the lack of depth in characterisation, possibly as there wasn't a focus on one or two main protagonists. Mr Armitage did his best with creating recognisable voices, but he sadly didn't have very much to work with. Not really worth the effort.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chiara Coppi
  • Chiara Coppi
  • 26-09-2020

Convincente

Toccante, imperdibile per tutti i fan di Jane Austen. Ho amato subito il personaggio Dr. Gray. Bellissimo la parte della sua visita al cimitero. La voce di R. Armitage è la perfezione assoluta!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Love to create
  • Love to create
  • 12-02-2021

Loved this book

I love Richard Armitage voice. He is clear and succinct. He can produce different accents flawlessly and they add to the enjoyment of the story. Whether he is reading Chekhov or Natalie Jenner he makes the characters, the places come to life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Agatella
  • Agatella
  • 07-02-2021

Beautiful read

I loved this book. I found this quote below very interesting and relevant which explains why every time I read any of Jane Austen's books or books about her and her family life, I find my inner peace & comfort.
'During the Great War, shell-shocked soldiers had been encouraged to read Jane Austen in particular—Kipling had coped with the loss of his soldier son by reading her books aloud to his family each night—Winston Churchill had recently used them to get through the Second World War.'

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Susan's Daughter...
  • Susan's Daughter...
  • 16-06-2020

Disappointed

Too many Americanisms and inaccuracies for a story in 1940s Hampshire. Not what I expected.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.