I got this book in a recent Opshop* with questions running through my mind. Had I really not read this book yet? Didn’t I get it a few years ago? What happened to it? Surely a book about two of my favourite things (Austen and books) would be remembered!
The first chapter I did remember, and cleared up a bit of the confusion- I could have sworn that the incident described from Jocelyn’s past was from the book Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. I also remember not liking Divine Secrets but with my only memory being the passage falsely attributed to it! I am pretty sure I read them around the same time- thus the mix up.
As I read on I realised that I didn’t remember anything past the first chapter. Sounds pretty dire for the book- either it was unmemorable, or I didn’t like it enough and stopped reading it. I have only ever stopped reading a handful of books in my life. But I liked the book more as it continued, and my overall summary is that it is a fairly pleasant read. It it based around a small group of people who meet to discuss Austen’s books. Each time a different person hosts, and we delve into an aspect of their past, or in Prudie’s case her present. This makes it somewhat like those Love Actually type movies, or a collection of short stories. Personally I quite like these movies, but prefer my books to have more of a driving narrative. There are a lot of Austen spin offs and reproductions out there, and unfortunately I find most don’t live up to the original. I love a lot of the BBC productions, and Austenland (the movie), but have yet to found a book that really captures her magic.
*second hand store for you non-Aussie/NZ readers (short for opportunity shop- cheap second hand goods with profits going to charity)