Monday, January 28, 2008

BBBT-Jane Austen Book Club

Whoops... I forgot to post this!

The latest book for the BBBT was Jane Austen Book Club. While this was a good read, for me it didn't live up to the hype. Maybe because I haven't read much Austen? Anyhow... on to the questions.

Did you find the allusions to the various Austin books distracting or helpful in understanding the characters in the book? Were there enough similarities to Austin's characters for you to distinguish who was who (i.e. Jocelyn = Emma)?

I found the references helpful since I haven't actually read much of Austen's works. I know the basic plots of the major works. I think there were enough for some characters but not enough for others... such as Grigg for me.

On page 5 of my edition, at the end of the Prologue, the narrator says: "The six of us -- Jocelyn, Bernadette, Sylvia, Allegra, Prudie, and Grigg -- made up the full roster of the Central Valley/River City all-Jane-Austen-all-the-time book club." Each of the six is featured in the book, and voices intimate thoughts & memories, yet throughout, the narrator maintains the voice of "we." Which of the characters is the narrator telling the story/writing the book? And if you don't know or have an opinion, which character would be the most likely narrator & why?

Honestly... I thought that the narrator voice was Jocelyn. She seemed the strongest voice throughout the novel.

Happiness seemed to be a reoccurring topic throughout the book. Sylvia and Bernadette seemed to be polar opposites in how they reacted to things in life and how they viewed happiness. Do you identify with one of these ladies over the other? Explain. Did another character speak to you instead? Who and why?

My outlook on life seems more aligned with Sylvia. I tend to be the one that holds things back. It is very obvious when I am happy because most of the rest of the time I tend to be more stoic in my emotions to people that are not in my "inner" circle per say.

Allegra is described as "liking being an aunt. That it offered all the kid time she needed. Probably. All she wanted mostly." If you don't have your own children, but are an aunt how important is that role to you and, what special rewards does it offer?

It depends on which kids! To some of my nieces and nephews, I get to be the one that they can pal around with and joke with differently then with mom and dad. To others, I am just someone who buys them gifts. I like being an aunt but still think that being a mom is a better role. Special rewards? Well, it is always nice when they run up and hug ya out of a group!

When Corinne stole Allegra's stories, she both lied by omission as well as stole pieces of Allegra. Do you believe Allegra was more upset about the lie or the fact that someone stole her stories?

I personally thought that she was more upset about the fact that Corinne hid the fact that she was using Allegra's stories to try and earn money. I think maybe if she would have informed her, she probably would have been okay with it since she loves her but the fact that it was all done behind her back was the issue.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Embryo Culture by Beth Kohl (with author participation!)


Delenn said...

Good answers! I also feel like the book was not totally up to its hype.

The Town Criers said...

I also thought the narrator was Jocelyn, but I was so confused the first time I read the opening. I read it several more times, turning back the pages, counting the characters.

The Dunn Family said...

Thanks for your responses. I actually found all the Austen stuff distracting, since I've never read any Austen. I didn't answer that question, but now that you say it, I guess I always did just think Jocelyn was the narrator.

loribeth said...

Thanks for the insights! I'm glad someone answered the question about the narrator, since it was mine. I was about halfway through the book before I realized, "Hey, wait a minute..." & (as Mel says) started counting. I think you're right that Jocelyn's voice was the strongest in the book. Certainly, she was the central point through which all of the other characters were connected (Bernadette was married to her godfather, she met Grigg at the sci-fi convention & Prudie at the movies, & knew Sylvia & Allegra forever).

Ms. Infertile said...

I've never read any Austin stuff either and found it distracting in the book.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.