Kel McGowan is Kelligrafie
I was quite looking forward to reading this one because I love books and I love clubs and therefore, book clubs seems like a perfect combination. I will be honest and say that I have never read any Jane Austen books. I can get quite apprehensive about 'classics' because I've read quite a few books described as literary gold and they were incredibly boring. That being said, I love Charles Dickens, so perhaps you understand the dilemna I face.
As the title would suggest, a group of women (and one guy - straight would you believe) get together once a month to go through and discuss a nominated Jane Austen book. This is probably where you would need to be an Austen fan because otherwise you are given a list of names and scenarios that you don't recognise. Had I read any Austen (and enjoyed it) I would possibly have liked this book a little bit more.
However at times it does read like a book study in a school. I struggle to believe that a group of women (and a straight guy) that have been drinking wine all night would be so profound with their descriptions of the stories.
The other issue is that the characters' characters get described a bit repetitively. We don't need to be told every chapter about how controlling someone is or how the lesbian likes extreme sports. I once read a book where every person was given a full description in every single chapter. TJABC wasn't, thankfully, as bad but I still think it can be a bit patronising for your readers.
The ending seems a little rushed and abrupt but I don't know if the storylines could have been dragged out any more anyway. And I would have loved to have seen more of Grigg's sisters - they sounded like really fun girls.
I'm giving this 3/5. You would definitely get more out of the book if you are a Jane Austen fan or have at least read some of her stories.
This week I'm reading Westbound, Warbound - Alexander Fullerton
File under: Kelligrafie, Jane Austen, book, club, Karen Joy Fowler, review