Fractus Europa – short stories set across EUROPE
Novel set in CHAWTON, near Alton, Hampshire
26th May 2020
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, novel set in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire.
I listened to this on audio and revelled in the dulcet tones of actor Richard Armitage.
The author has brought together a delightful assemblage of characters, from all kinds of backgrounds, all worthy of a Jane Austen novel. What they all have in common is a huge appreciation of Jane Austen’s work and they come together to save her works and her remaining possessions for posterity. It is set just post WW2 and the legacy of the war years still cast a pall over the country.
There is Adeline, the local teacher who has progressive views that aren’t appreciated by the establishment. She has lost her husband and is carrying their child, and due to give birth shortly. Dr Grey is an upstanding citizen of the community – dark waters certainly run deep. There is the Jane Austen descendant, Frances Knight, who is a seemingly unassuming woman, thwarted in love, looking after her very curmudgeonly and cutting father. She lives in a cottage on the Knight estate. A scullery maid is sorting through the many books on the shelves, cataloguing them in her spare time unbeknownst to her mistress. And there is Mimi Harrison, star of stage and screen in Hollywood, a Jane Austen devotee who comes over to England to gaze at the authoress’s estate and attend an auction of the latter’s jewellery.
There is drama, there is intrigue, unrequited love, there is a cad and a bounder, emotion and romance. The story is beautifully brought together and beautifully narrated (did I already mention that Richard Armitage does a brilliant job? 😉). If you are JA fan, then this is certainly a novel for you!
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