Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jane Austen Book Club - Modern Classic?

I finished reading The Jane Austen Book Club for a book review for Curled Up With a Good Book. If you enjoy books - and most importantly - if you enjoy Jane Austen's works, then you're in for a treat! The novel fuses themes and character portraits from Austen's six novels into its very threads. Delightful. Possibly a modern classic. Well, maybe a modern classic for Austen fans.

I admit, I've only read Pride and Prejudice. Yesterday, I asked my dad (my high school English teacher) if we read the book in class or if I read it in college. He wrinkled his nose and said, "Do you really think we'd read a Jane Austen novel? Ick. You definitely read it during college." What's this? My dad....the voracious reader....scowling at Jane Austen? Yup.

What caught my attention while reading this book is that life is full of drama. It's a concept I've always known - or at least it's a concept I definitely learned during high school when we read Shakespeare, Hardy, Plath, Sexton, Twain..... And if we just look around and soak up the drama, we, ourselves, are the basis of a novel. That doesn't mean all of us are faced with a catastrophe each day, but it's the mini-dramas that we experience that tell our stories.

I often say "You can't judge a book by its movie." I'm wondering how the movie based on this book will be. The novel contains several flashbacks, and I'm wondering how consistent the screenplay is.

It might seem like chick lit to some readers, but it's not. Perhaps, though, Jane Austen was the inventor of chick lit. Perhaps Austen is the original Sex and the City gal....telling tales of desire (but leaving the clothing intact).

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