Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Summer of Christmas by Juliet Giglio and Keith Giglio

 Title:  The Summer of Christmas

Author:  Juliet Giglio and Keith Giglio

Narrated by:  Elizabeth Cottle

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Length:  10 hours and 23 Minutes

Source: Sourcebooks, Dreamscape Media  & Netgalley.  Thank-you!

 Do you read any Christmas books in the summer or watch any Christmas movies?  When I was growing up, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life all summer long.  I love that movie.

 I really enjoyed The Summer of Christmas.  If you are a fan of a good romance, Christmas movies, and Hallmark Christmas movies – this is the book for you.  Ivy Green lives in California and her dreams are coming true as she works to become a screenwriter.  Her boyfriend Nick Shepard is visiting her for Christmas when she expresses her dream that he leave his family vineyard back in their small hometown in the State of New York and move to California with her.  While they sit with Santa, Nick tells Ivy that his dream is to break up with her and that he has been cheating on her.  Devasted, the newly single Ivy writes a riveting screen play about their romance from childhood through adults with a tragic ending where the Nick character dies in a snowmobile accident.  Years later, her screen play is getting made into a movie.  She is back in her hometown to film the movie with her new producer boyfriend Drew when she meets Nick again for the first time since the breakup.  Will she be able to figure out what exactly went wrong and what she wants out of life?

 I really enjoyed this lighthearted romantic comedy.   It’s just what I needed right now.  I loved the behind the scenes look at making movies.    I laughed out loud when it came up in the story that Nick’s top selling wine was Poison Ivy.  It was a joke that kept on giving throughout the story.  I loved all of the secondary characters.  I especially enjoyed the movie star Griffin and how he bonded with Ivy’s family.  He just wanted a normal life and to be loved.  I also enjoyed how Nick’s mother had a romance of her own.  The town was also a star of the novel and sounded beautiful.  The movie had a dream sequence towards the end that was reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life.

 Narrator Elizabeth Cottle did a great job and was fun to listen to.  I thought of her as the voice of Ivy.



Monday, August 29, 2022

A Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception (The Secret Life of Mary Bennet #3) by Katherine Cowley – an Austenprose PR Book Tour


Title:  A Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception (The Secret Life of Mary Bennet #3)

Author:  Katherine Cowley

Narrated by:  Alison Larkin

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Length:  10 hours and 36 Minutes

Source: Dreamscape Media  & Netgalley as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour.  Thank-you!

 Who is your favorite underdog in literature?  Mary Bennet is definitely not the favored sister in Pride and Prejudice, but I am glad to finally see her get her own story.  The Secret Life of Mary Bennet series has done an excellent job giving Mary a well-rounded personality and story of her own.

 Book three of this series, has an excellent title, A Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception.  Mary has accompanied Lady Trafford and her heir Mr. Withrow to Brussels.  Napoleon has escaped the island of Elba.  The Duke of Wellington and his forces are in Brussels readying for their last battle with Napoleon.  When one of the Duke of Wellington’s officers is murdered, Mary and Mr. Withrow are on the case to discover the identify of the murderer.  Will they catch the murderer before he strikes again?  Will Mary and Mr. Withrow realize their feelings for each other? 

 I greatly enjoyed this novel.  Mary continues to develop as a character and spy and I’ll admit, I really got a kick out of her dressing up as a man and investigating the murder with Mr. Withrow.  I also loved the balls and how Mary seemed to have captured the eye of the Prince of Orange.  My favorite part of this novel was the inclusion of Lydia and Mr. Wickham.  It was a very strong story.  Mary realizes that her family abandoned Lydia due to the scandal, but never bothered to check on her, happy to have her away from them.  She has become a victim of domestic abuse with no one to turn to.  This storyline causes Mary to grow up in a way more deeply than anything else.  As she experiences the Battle of Waterloo, she comes to realize what is most important in life.

 I enjoyed the historical note at the end of the novel.  It was a great conclusion to the trilogy, but I’ll admit to wanting more.  I want to see what new adventures Mary has yet in store.

 I was delighted to discover that Alison Larkin was the narrator of this audiobook.  She is one of my favorite audiobook narrators.  I love her English accent, smooth voice, and narration style.  She was an excellent narrator of this audiobook.


·       Title: The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet (Book 3)

·       Series: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet

·       Author: Katherine Cowley

·       Genre: Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Austenesque

·       Publisher: ‎Tule Publishing Group, LLC (September 6, 2022)

·       Length: (368) pages

·       Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1957748566

·       Tour Dates: August 29 – September 11, 2022



What is a spy willing to do when both her heart and her country are at risk?

Life changes once again for British spy Miss Mary Bennet when Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from the Isle of Elba. Mary quickly departs England for Brussels, the city where the Allied forces prepare for war against the French. But shortly after her arrival, one of the Duke of Wellington's best officers is murdered, an event which threatens to break the delicate alliance between the Allies.

Investigating the murder forces Mary into precarious levels of espionage, role-playing, and deception with her new partner, Mr. Withrow-the nephew and heir of her prominent sponsor, and the spy with whom she's often at odds. Together, they court danger and discovery as they play dual roles gathering intelligence for the British. But soon Mary realizes that her growing feelings towards Mr. Withrow put her heart in as much danger as her life. And then there's another murder.

Mary will need to unmask the murderer before more people are killed, but can she do so and remain hidden in the background?



“Cowley manages to turn a little-liked, ignored, and stilted girl into one of my favorites of Austen's characters...This third novel of the series is her best. I laughed and I cried and cheered for Mary to succeed in her endeavors and hopefully find love at last.”— Carol Pratt Bradley, author of The Light of the Candle

“5 STARS. Just a delight!”— Wren, The Zebra Reader

“I really enjoyed this book. It is a great addition to the series. I loved that Mary is finding love in a logical way that fits her character…Highly recommend.”— Mariana, Goodreads

“I absolutely love Katherine Cowley's Mary Bennet series, and I think [The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception] may be the best book in the series.”— Madison, Goodreads







Katherine Cowley read Pride and Prejudice for the first time when she was ten years old, which started a lifelong obsession with Jane Austen. Her debut novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Mary Bennet spy series continues with the novels The True Confessions of a London Spy and The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception. Katherine loves history, chocolate, traveling, and playing the piano, and she has taught writing classes at Western Michigan University. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and three daughters.




       Read an in-depth interview with author Katherine Cowley revealing insights into her new historical mystery novel, The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception

The True Confessions of a London Spy (The Secret Life of Mary Bennet #2) by Katherine Cowley


What is your favorite book series?

The True Confessions of a London Spy is the second book in The Secret Life of Mary Bennet series.  It was an enjoyable addition to the series. 

Mary Bennet is working undercover in London for the season to help to track down a murderer.  She is staying with her sister Elizabeth and her husband Mr. Darcy.  Her sister Kitty and Mr. Darcy’s sister Georgiana are also staying with them in town so they can all enjoy the season together.  Will Mary be able to solve the murder mystery and how can she do it without arising the suspicions of Mr. Darcy?

I love Mary’s continued growth as a character in this novel.  I especially enjoyed her developing her relationship with her sister Kitty and making the realization that both she and Kitty were not treated the best in her family.  The Bennet family is a bit dysfunctional.  I also enjoyed that both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy suspected something was up, but couldn’t quite put their finger on it.  Mary seems to keep growing in her self-confidence and I really liked how she helped Georgiana in this novel.  The mystery was agreeable, and I loved the London of 1814 setting.

Book Source:  Purchased for my Kindle on

Thursday, August 25, 2022

When Can We Go Back to America by Susan H. Kamai

 When Can We Go Back to America by Susan H. Kamai

Title:  When Can We Go Back to America

Author:  Susan H. Kamai

Narrated by:  Allison Hiroto, Kurt Kanazawa, Andrew Kishino, and Mizuo Peck

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 21 hours and 42 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster.  Thank-you!

 What historical period of time would you like to learn more about?

 I knew a bit about the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent, but When Can We Go Back to America is a full deep dive into this period of history.  I learned a lot.  This was a great audiobook experience as the stories were told in first person accounts from the people who lived it.  As my college history professor has always said, it is best to learn history from first person accounts.

 One item I learned that surprised me is that American citizens of Japanese descent and Japanese American citizens that were prominent were arrested on December 7th and taken away.  I didn’t know that it had happened so fast.  The FBI had been compiling lists well before December 7th and were ready.  It was heard to listen to the stories of the American citizens taken away from their homes, giving up everything to life in what was termed as that time as concentration camps.  An image that really stuck with me is that the children that were Boy Scouts wore their uniforms and helped everyone out. 

 The audiobook also focused on the 442nd Infantry unit that was put together of the American citizens of Japanese descent. This until became one of the most decorated units in World War II and fought on the European front.  The stories of bravery were inspiring.

 The story told through the end of the war and when the American citizens of Japanese descent returned home.  They no longer had homes, farms, or anything and had to start over.  It was hard, and especially hard for the decorated soldiers who returned home to find they and their families had nothing.  It took forty years, but in the 1980s, the people who were interned received compensation from the government.

 At this point, I thought the audiobook was finished, but there was still seven hours left.  It was seven hours of biographies of all of the people whose stories were used in this book.  They were riveting, sad, inspiriting, and truly the story of America.  I also enjoyed that George Takei of Star Trek fame was included.  I read and loved his graphic novel about his internment experience, They Called Us Enemies, with my son Daniel.

 I first really learned of the Japanese internment when I read Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson in the 1990s.  This book was mentioned as was the real-life person who the story was based on. 

 When Can We Go Back to America got its name from a child who asked this question as they couldn’t believe they were still in America as they lived in a concentration camp.  This story is important for all Americans to read or to listen to.  We need to make sure we remember the rights of American citizens and ensure that this never happens again. 

 This book was intriguing and told a very important story in American history.  I highly recommend it.

Back to the Prairie by Melissa Gilbert

 Title:  Back to the Prairie

Author:  Melissa Gilbert

Narrated by:  Melissa Gilbert

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 7 hours and 1 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster.  Thank-you!

 Were you a fan of the Little House on the Prairie TV series that aired in the 1970s and 1980s?  I loved the TV and the book series.  I think I have them memorized.  When I had an opportunity to review Melissa Gilbert’s new memoir, I jumped at the chance.

 For those that don’t know, Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Little House on the Prairie TV Show as a child and has been in a variety of roles since that time.  This memoir is really an update to her first memoir, Prairie Tale that came out in 2009.  I have not read Prairie Tale, but I still enjoyed Back to the Prairie.  In fact, it made me want read Prairie Tale.

 This memoir covers her marriage to Timothy Busfield (West Wing, Thirtysomething amongst other projects).  She moves with Timothy first to rural Michigan and then they buy and fix up a cottage in the Catskill Mountains of New York, right before COVID hit.  I loved how Melissa and Timothy worked together to find supplies, create dinners, and enjoy a slowed down life.  What especially cracked me off was when they watched Little House on the Prairie as Timothy had never seen it before!  They called their cottage, “the cabbage” and I loved how they observed wildlife and learned how to raise chickens. 

 Melissa Gilbert narrates this audiobook and I loved it.  It sounded like you were listening to stories from your friend, Melissa Gilbert.  Her husband Timothy Busfield narrated the foreword and that was entertaining as well.


Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley


If you had an apartment, you could stay in for free anywhere, where would you visit?   I want to go so many places; this is a hard question for me.  I think right now, I would love to stay in an apartment in Vienna.  Paris would definitely be a great place to visit.

In the last two years, I have read and enjoyed The Hunting Party and The Guest List by Lucy Foley, so my expectations were quite high for this new book.  Sadly, this new novel didn’t quite meet my expectations.

On the positive, The Paris Apartment had super short chapters that told alternating viewpoints as down on her luck Jess travels to Paris to stay with her half-brother Ben and discovers he is missing.  What happened to Ben?  His last voicemail makes Jess believe he may have been hurt or killed.  All of his neighbors in the building seem to have secrets and Jess works on trying to figure out what they had to do with Ben.  The book was supposed to be a page turner, but it was really slow for me until the very end.  The characters were all unlikeable and hard to relate to.  I found myself not caring about the missing Ben like I should have.  On the positive, I did like that the characters definitely were painted with shades of grey.  The book did pick up at the end and I found myself intrigued again.  The book did tie up all of the loose ends and had a good conclusion.

I listened to an interview with Lucy Foley on the Book Club Girls Podcast right after I finished the book.  It was a great interview.  It discussed the class and power issues in this novel with the upstairs / downstairs type setting.  Foley had stayed in a building in Paris, and it gave her the inspiration to write this novel.  I also thought it was interesting that she wanted to be Agatha Christie’s Miss Maple if she had to pick any fictional character. 

Overall, The Paris Apartment was a mediocre thriller.  If you are new to Lucy Foley, I recommend The Hunting Party and The Guest List. 

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


Gone with the Wind was a spring read for the Back to the Classics Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library.  This was my third time reading this novel in my life.  I read it first in middle school and last time in my later twenties.  I seem to have a different perspective and learn something new every time I read it.  One thing I realized this time is that it works a lot better for me to read it straight through rather than to read half of it for one book club discussion and then finish it a couple of months later for the second book club discussion.

Gone With the Wind is an epic, layered novel with some of the greatest characters in literature.  Scarlett O’Hara is a heroine that you disdain at times, but you can’t stop reading about her.  Rhett Butler is a scoundrel that you root for, and at his heart, he truly loves Scarlett.  There are so many good characters in this story. 

In this reading of the classic tale, I was struck by how both Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes are realistic about the Civil War.  They both talk about how politicians and people with money have riled up the populace to fight in a war that they can’t win and that doesn’t benefit most of the people of the south.  I loved this quote by Rhett Butler, “All wars are sacred to those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn't make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so, few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is 'Save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!' Sometimes it's 'Down with Popery!' and sometimes 'Liberty!' and sometimes 'Cotton, slavery, and States' Rights!'”  Some things don’t change.  I totally didn’t remember these views in Gone with the Wind.

It was an interesting look at how the war changed everything in Georgia.  It does show how the war came right to where they lived and changed their lives forever.  The siege of Atlanta was one of the most thrilling sections of a book that I have ever read.  It was sad as characters you’ve grown to know died seemingly senseless deaths.

The book does paint a fantasy version of the perfect South that never really existed.  For instance, the black characters in the story are all happy slaves before the war.  After the war, free black people are not looked too kindly upon.  The most troubling aspect of the novel is that pretty much everyone Scarlett knows is in the Ku Klux Klan and it’s painted as a great organization that is protecting the women of the south.  It’s a very strange thing to read, especially knowing that Scarlett is Catholic and the KKK does not look too kindly upon Catholics.  This must be how the author in the 1930s South rationalized the KKK and its existence. 

I’ve recently been disturbed to see people who have never read this novel stating on my classic book club pages that you are racist if you’ve read this novel or enjoyed this novel.  I find that troubling as well.  You will never learn about the past and take a good look at what was bad and good if you just label things as racist without reading them and having discussions on them.  If we can’t look at the past to learn from our mistakes, I don’t know how we will move forward.

Book Source:  I own two copies of this book.  One is a June 1936 edition that I bought at an auction (sadly May 1936 is the first edition) and the other that I got at a half off bookstore.  It’s a beautiful copy as well.  This time around, I read it on my Kindle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

 Do you like dual timelines in a novel?  What about three or more timelines?

Cloud Cuckoo Land has three distinct timelines, but there are other timelines throughout.  The novel starts in 2020 with a young man getting a bomb ready to go off at a library where young children are putting on a play, Cloud Cuckoo Land.  The novel flashes back in time for a couple of key players in this timeline to build up why these characters are here and give background to the choices they will make.  This includes Seymour, a young misunderstood boy who grows into a young man that is recruited by eco-terrorists, and Zeno, an old Korean War veteran who is working on the translation of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Another timeline is in Constantinople in 1453.  Anna is an orphan and seamstress who is trying to help out her sister, Maria.  She takes manuscripts from an old crumbling abbey and sells them to make money. This is how the manuscript of Cloud Cuckoo Land is rescued.  Omeir is a young peasant boy born with a cleft palate.  He is recruited by the sultan to drive his team of oxen to help overtake Constantinople.  There his and Anna’s story will collide.

In the future Konstance is on an intergenerational spaceship traveling toward a new home.  She is intrigued by everything and wants to learn as much as she can. 

There was a lot going on in this novel.  It was the July pick for the Page-turners Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library.  It gave us a lot to discuss.  I felt like when I would start to get into a story line, I would be disappointed to move to another point of view.  I learned that one of my book club members would stay with that viewpoint and read through the novel which I thought was an interesting way to do it.

I thought the book was very interesting, beautifully written, and a unique storyline.  I felt vested in the characters that thought that the ending was masterfully pulled together.  It was a good book.

I started to read this book on audiobook, but I found that it worked better for me to read it on my Kindle to keep track of all of the different storylines.  Another book club member listened and read the novel.  The narrators in the audiobook were excellent.

Book Source:  Thank-you to Simon Schuster Audiobooks and Netgalley. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover by Ann B. Ross


What is your cozy place to read?  I like to read in my reading nook at home, on a sofa with a big window and my cats nearby.

Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover was the August pick for the Page-turners’ Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library.  It is the fifteenth book in the Miss Julia series and it’s the first book I’ve read.  Miss Julia is a middle-aged woman who lives in a small town in the South.  Her world is shaken up when her husband decides to run for office and her cousin sends her granddaughter, Trixie, to stay with Miss Julia for the summer without asking.  She is hoping that Julia can help make Trixie over.  Will Miss Julia be able to help Trixie?

Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover is a cozy read.  It’s life in a small town.  Not much really happens.  It’s a very readable book, but it was a slower read for me as it didn’t really hook me.  I think if I would have read the entire series, I would have cared more about all of the characters, but it was fine as a standalone.

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus


What is your favorite book that you’ve read this year?  I’ve read a lot of good books, but Lessons in Chemistry is my favorite this year.

Elizabeth Zott is a chemist, and this has been her passion and her dream.  She is the lone chemist at the Hastings Research Institute in the 1950s.  Most of her colleagues don’t believe she belongs there except for the top scientist at the institute, Calvin Evans.  Evans is a young genius and already Nobel Prize nominated while in his twenties.  He falls in love with Elizabeth’s mind and sparks fly when they get together.  When tragedy strikes, Elizabeth finds herself teaching America how to cook with chemistry in a cooking show.  Will she be able to fulfill her dream of being a chemist and also how to deal with her grief?

Lessons in Chemistry was a unique story that gripped me from the first page.  I had a hard time putting it down.  The characters were interesting and unique.  I loved their viewpoints.  I also love how the dog, Six-Thirty, narrated sections as well. The book shines a light on how hard it was for a woman, even a very gifted woman, to make a living in science in the past and to receive the same respect and pay as her male colleagues.  The hurdles that Elizabeth faced were quite high.  I’d like to say that things have completely changed from that time, but some of the hurdles were the same for me as a woman in engineering.    The book had a mystery throughout about Calvin’s past and I liked that it was tied up in a very satisfying way at the end of the novel.  It was overall an uplifting novel.  I also loved that Elizabeth found a family with her motley crew of friends.

Favorite Quotes:

“Elizabeth Zott held grudges too.   Except her grudges were mainly reserved for a patriarchal society founded on the idea that women were less.  Less capable.  Less intelligent.  Less inventive.  A society that believed men went to work and did important things – discovered planets, developed products, created laws – and women stayed at home and raised children.  She didn’t want children – she knew this about herself- but she also knew that plenty of other women did want children and a career.  And what was wrong with that?  Nothing.  It was exactly what men got.”

“She saw herself living in such a society.  A place that didn’t always automatically mistake her for a secretary, a place where, when she presented her findings at a meeting, she didn’t have to brace herself for the men who would invariably talk over her, or worse, take credit for her work.  Elizabeth shook her head.  When it came to equality, 1952 was a real disappointment.”

“With the exception of Calvin, her dead brother, John, Dr. Mason, and maybe Walter Pine, she only ever seemed to bring out the worst in men.  They either wanted to control her, touch her, dominate her, silence her, correct her, or tell her what to do.  She didn’t understand why they couldn’t just treat her as a fellow human being, as a colleague, a friend, an equal, or even a stranger on the street, someone to whom one is automatically respectful until you find out they’ve buried a bunch of bodies in the backyard.”

“Imagine if all men took women seriously.  Education would change.  The workforce would revolutionize.  Marriage counselors would go out of business.  Do you see my point?”

“Although he would never be a chemist, he was a dog.  And as a dog he knew a permanent bond when he saw one.”

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

The Guncle by Steven Rowley


Did you ever have a favorite relative you would stay with as a child?  I used to spend a week in the summer with my Great Grandpa and Grandma Kile in Indiana and I loved it.  We built some special memories together.

Special memories are built between Patrick and his niece and nephew, Maisie and Grant, when they come to visit him for the summer in Palm Springs.  Maisie and Grant have recently lost their mother to cancer and their father is in rehab.  Gay Uncle Patrick, or Guncle, takes the kids and teaches them his Guncle rules for life.  When Patrick’s sister comes to take the children away, will he be able to keep them for the rest of the summer?  Does he want to?

I came into The Guncle thinking it was just a comedy book.  Patrick is very witty and a fun character, but this book is so much more.  It’s a realistic and thoughtful look at death and loss.  The book flashes back to Patrick’s great love, Joe, who died in a terrible car accident that Patrick survived.  Although they were partners, Joe’s  family didn’t recognize their relationship and wouldn’t allow Patrick to be with him at the end.  Patrick has spent the past years closed down, not allowing himself to move on and live his life.  As he helps the children through their own grief, it allows him to work though his own. 

I loved this book.  It was heart warming and a great unique story.  The writing was smart and funny.

Book Source:  Purchased at Prose and Politics in Washington DC.  Thank-you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Emma by Jane Austen


Title:  Emma

Author:  Jane Austen

Narrated by:  Juliet Stevenson

Publisher: Naxos Edition

Length: Approximately 16 hours and 39 minutes

Source: Purchased from


What books do you like to reread?  What is an old favorite book that you return to?

 I love all of Jane Austen’s novels.  The Kewaunee Library Back to the Classics Book Club July pick was Emma by Jane Austen.  I listened to it on audiobook as I’ve come to realize I love listening to classics like Austen via audiobook.  It is the way they originally would often had been read as a family read them out loud to each other.

 I have read and reviewed Emma many times before so in this review I will talk about what struck me on reading it this time.  I was really struck by how judgmental and snobby Emma was.  I couldn’t believe some of the things she said about Robert Martin.  She couldn’t believe he could write a letter because he was a farmer, etc.  She also had thoughts about the Coles as they from trade, and Miss Bates because she was a poor single woman.  Her judgements were inconsistent as we discussed in book club.  She overlooks that Harriet is most likely illegitimate with no family or that the Westons made their money from trade.  I feel like the 2020 movie captured Emma’s snobbishness perfectly. 

 Frank Churchill was also a topic in book club.  The fact that Miss Fairfax still marries him is amazing.  He flirts with Emma in front of Miss Fairfax and in fact makes fun of Miss Fairfax.  It would have been hard to bear.

 I thought that Mr. Elton was interesting.  In the book he is described as very handsome, but the movie versions never seem to depict it.  Austen always seems to always be picking on the clergy even though her father and brother were clergymen.  Mr. Elton is very proud of his new bride, Mrs. Elton, although she is a braggart and overly proud of herself.  I always wonder what will happen to their marriage in the future.

 Juliet Stevenson played Mrs. Elton in the 1996 film version and she is the perfect audiobook narrator.  She especially narrated the characters of Mrs. Elton and Miss Bates in a most entertaining way.  She is a go to narrator of audiobooks for me.

 I enjoyed listening to this story again.  Austen is such a witty writer and writes great dialogue.  Her characters are all very interesting and have such characteristics that are still true to life for people.  I was just sad when it ended.