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Jane Austen Book Club at Historic Stewart Farm

The book club at the South Surrey heritage site is a unique experience. Focusing on classic books, participants have the rare opporunity to sit in the farmhouse kitchen at night. Nestled by the wood burning stove and snacking on home-baked goodies, discussions about the chosen book take place. We did a brief Q&A with the Programmer to find out more about what participants can expect.

Who typically attends the book club?
We have a wide variety of participants attending our programs, ranging from local seniors to young adults. Some even travel from Abbotsford and Maple Ridge

Are attendees literary majors or average readers?
We get both and everyone contributes to the conversation with unique perspectives. Many of the participants are avid readers, some of them huge Jane Austen fans who are excited to discuss their favourite author in such a unique Victorian era setting. Still, the first-time Austen readers often contribute points the 'experts' had never considered which is great.

What is the format of the book club?
We do a simple format with resources provided to us by the Ocean Park Library staff.  We use discussions questions and casually go through the list. Depending on how the discussion is going, we may skip a question or jump ahead, or run away with a tangent.

What comes after the Jane Austen classics?
As we will be running out of Jane Austen novels in 2018, we discussed with participants what direction they would like to see the program go. The program name will be changing to “Historic Book Club” in 2018 and our first program will run Thursday, February 22 at 7pm, featuring William Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Registration opens November 27, 2017.

"I had never attended any kind of book club before and was pleasantly surprised at how open and willing to participate everybody was right away - despite our varying levels of interpretation of the book.  Everyone was happy to warm up and get going socially to talk about a great book." -Past Participant

Next Session: Thursday, November 24, 2017

Featuring Northanger Abbey, spend an evening discussing  the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication. Not published until after her death at the end of 1817, the novel is a satire of the Gothic novels popular at the time of its first writing in 1798–99. The heroine, Catherine, thinks life is like a Gothic novel, but her real experiences bring her down to earth as an ordinary young woman.      

Register Now