The Jane Austen Book Club: a perfectly imaginary world, where there exists, in one community, six women and one man who love Jane Austen the way trekkies love Capt. Kirk & Co. It's too obvious that these are characters, not people, and that they were all created by one person, herself obviously marinated in Jane Austen for many years.
Nevertheless, it is a charming novel. Enchanting, even. All the Austen stories and characters inhabit the book in remembered cameos and slices like specimens for a laboratory slide. Fowler cites deprecatory quotes by Mark Twain and R.W. Emerson. They didn't "get" Austen. I guess she was just too subtle for them! In my literary notebook, Jane rates well below George Eliot, but I have always appreciated her humor and her plot twists. She's above, for example, the Brontë sisters.