Tag Archives: Natalie Jenner

Cover Reveal — Every Time We Say Goodbye

18 Sep

It’s cover reveal time for best-selling author Natalie Jenner‘s newest novel, Every Time We Say Goodbye! Jenner, the author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls takes readers back to 1950s-era London in May 2024. (On my birthday in fact — what a great gift!) Find out all about it below.

  • Title: Every Time We Say Goodbye: A Novel
  • Author: Natalie Jenner  
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (May 14, 2024)
  • Length: (336) pages
  • Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
  • ISBN: 978-1250285188

The bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls returns with a brilliant novel of love and art, of grief and memory, of confronting the past and facing the future.

In 1955, Vivien Lowry is at a crossroads in life. Her latest play, the only female-authored play on the London stage that season, has opened in the West End to rapturous applause from the audience. The reviewers, however, are not as impressed as the playgoers and their savage notices not only shut down the play but ruin Vivien’s last chance for theatrical success. With her future in London not looking bright, at the suggestion of her friend, Peggy Guggenheim, Vivien takes a job as a script doctor on a major film shooting in Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. There she finds a vibrant moviemaking scene filled with rising stars, acclaimed directors, and famous actors in a country that is torn between its past and its potentially bright future, between the liberation of the post-war cinema and the restrictions of the Catholic Church that permeate the very soul of Italy.

As Vivien tries to forge a new future for herself, she also searches for the long-buried truth of the recent World War and the fate of her deceased fiancé lost in battle. Every Time We Say Goodbye is a bold and moving exploration of trauma and tragedy, hope and renewal, filled with dazzling characters both real and imaginary, from the incomparable author who charmed the world with her novels The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls.

(Every Time We Say Goodbye is linked to The Jane Austen Society, & Bloomsbury Girls by characters, but is a stand-alone novel.) 

ADVANCE PRAISE

  • I’m in awe of Natalie Jenner’s new novel, which surprised me at every turn. At times it reads like the juiciest historical tell all, boasting cameos by enduring household names like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollabrigida, and featuring a party where Ava Gardner dances on the table. But most importantly, this is a story about damaged people who are still blinking into the light after the nightmare of the Second World War. This beautiful book balances and explores the most heroic aspects of humanity, and by extension the most evil. Every Time We Say Good Bye is a heartbreaking, engrossing, and thoroughly dazzling work of art that would make the filmmakers at the center of its story proud.” —Nina de Gramont, New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Christie Affair
  • Every Time We Say Goodbye welcomes back beloved characters from Jenner’s previous novels along with a new fascinating cast in Italy for the production of post-war films. Well-researched and written in a perfect blend of harrowing and heartwarming, this is another fabulous Natalie Jenner novel that historical fiction fans will adore!” —Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London and The Librarian Spy
  • “In her latest novel, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Natalie Jenner deftly weaves in elegant prose, the lives of the incredibly unique characters working to create a controversial war film at the Cinecitta in Italy, and the effects they have on each other and society. An emotionally poignant tale, that explores the human condition before, during and after war, and how those experiences change some while others remain unapologetically stuck. Ultimately, readers will find themselves swept along on a vivid journey through 1950s Italy, wading through the pains of the characters’ pasts and the sacrifices they made, in order to find a way to their hopeful future. Every once in a while, a story comes along that really grips you and inspires you to contemplate the choices we’re all given, and Jenner has done that here. An absolute page-turner, I couldn’t put this captivating book down.” —Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop and Starring Adele Astaire

A MESSAGE FROM AUTHOR NATALIE JENNER

Hello Dear Readers,

Every Time We Say Goodbye was the hardest book I will ever write, and the most rewarding.

It all started when I learned about the world-famous Cinecittà movie studio in Rome being used as a war refugee camp in the 1940s. People who had been stripped of everything—homes, possessions, even their most basic humanity—suddenly found themselves confined to life inside a “dream factory.” I decided to set my third novel during a very specific, very cool time in history—la dolce vita of mid 1950s Rome—while exploring the incredibly complex and haunting legacy of that city under German occupation during the Second World War.

I also wanted to know why Vivien Lowry, a character from my book Bloomsbury Girls, had been so angry all the time! I wondered if a woman could make the biggest mistake of her life and move past the regret in a way that benefitted her and the world around her. I never intended to write a dual timeline. I had been working on Every Time We Say Goodbye for nearly a year when the voice of a young female Italian resistance fighter codenamed la scolaretta—the schoolgirl assassin—suddenly showed up on the page one day. Having witnessed the bravery and sacrifice of so many to keep us safe during our world’s most recent challenge, I wanted to pay tribute to them. How fortunate am I, through the intimate and emotional power of historical fiction, to have the opportunity to do so.

I packed everything I could into this book: love and conflict, faith and religion, censorship and resistance, art and moviemaking, fashion and food, and cameos by favorite actresses such as Sophia Loren and Ava Gardner and characters from both The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls (I, myself am terrible at goodbyes!). 

I hope, more than anything, that Every Time We Say Goodbye gives readers the entertainment, inspiration and food for thought that nourished me throughout its writing.

Best wishes, Natalie

AUTHOR BIO

Natalie Jenner is the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls, which have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer and career coach and once owned an independent bookstore in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

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Audiobook Review: Bloomsbury Girls

17 May

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner is a sequel of sorts of the author’s highly acclaimed novel, The Jane Austen Society. One character from the first book is part of the story as the reader is transported to a book store in early 1950s London. It’s a must read for bibliophiles, but it so much more than books. 😉 I liked it very much. Find all the details and my thoughts below.

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Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances–most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time–Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others–these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

BOOK TRAILER

AUDIOBOOK

Narrated by esteemed stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, enjoy the full unabridged edition of Bloomsbury Girls. “Stevenson delivers the satisfying triumph at the end with perfect polish.” —AudioFile Magazine

AUDIOBOOK EXCERPT 

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

AUDIOBOOK

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS

MY IMPRESSIONS:

I loved The Jane Austen Society, so when I heard Natalie Jenner had another book-related novel, I said yes, please! Bloomsbury Girls takes Evie Stone from Jenner’s first novel, and places her, along with a strong cast of characters, in the book shop Bloomsbury Books. Jenner does an admirable job of transporting the reader back to post-WWII England as many strive to find new lives in the ever-changing aftermath of the war. Class distinctions and the place of women and minorities in a new world are explored amid the bookshelves of a grand, but struggling bookstore. And for the bibliophiles among us, there are plenty of interactions with publishing notables and favorite authors. (My favorite, Daphne DuMaurier, plays an integral role.) The struggles of a society are mirrored in the microcosm of the bookstore. Characterization is a strong point of this book. Main and supporting characters alike are fully developed. I listened to the audiobook version of the novel which was excellently read by Juliet Stevenson. If you are a fan of audiobooks, I suggest you download this one soon.

Bloomsbury Girls is an outstanding general market novel that I won’t hesitate to recommend. Filled with historical detail, societal issues that make one think, and characters to love, it is a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a link to the audiobook from AustenProse. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Natalie Jenner is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.

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A message from the author:


Dear readers, I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of affection that so many of you have expressed for my debut novel The Jane Austen Society and its eight main characters. When I wrote its epilogue (in one go and without ever changing a word), I wanted to give each of Adam, Mimi, Dr. Gray, Adeline, Yardley, Frances, Evie and Andrew the happy Austenesque ending they each deserved. But I could not let go of servant girl Evie Stone, the youngest and only character inspired by real life (my mother, who had to leave school at age fourteen, and my daughter, who does eighteenth-century research for a university professor and his team). Bloomsbury Girls continues Evie’s adventures into a 1950s London bookshop where there is a battle of the sexes raging between the male managers and the female staff, who decide to pull together their smarts, connections, and limited resources to take over the shop and make it their own. There are dozens of new characters in Bloomsbury Girls from several different countries, and audiobook narration was going to require a female voice of the highest training and caliber. When I learned that British stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, CBE, had agreed to narrate, I knew that my story could not be in better hands, and I so hope you enjoy reading or listening to it. Warmest regards, Natalie

Top 10 Tuesday — Professional Book Pushers

10 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s prompt is a joy. It’s all about bookish characters. I chose to focus on books in which the main character(s) is a professional book pusher — one who gets paid to get someone to read. (As opposed to those of us who just do it for fun. 🙂 ) Basically booksellers and librarians. I am currently listening to The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar. It is riveting, and naturally it is on my list. With the variety of genres represented, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more lists of bookish characters, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Professional Book Pushers

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Camino Island by John Grisham

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Miss Zukas And The Library Murders by Jo Dereske

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsey Harrel

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Top 10 Tuesday — Lovely Book Hometowns

30 Mar

I have always been a small town girl, at least in my heart. I grew up in a large-ish town, but as an adult found myself enjoying small town living. I like less traffic, feeling a part of a community, and knowing people when I shop, dine, or recreate. I am aware of the pitfalls of small town life, (people knowing your business at number 1 😉 ), but still prefer to live in my small town. It was great raising children here too!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about favorite book settings that you could live in. It’s no wonder that I chose small towns, both real and fictional.

In what book setting would you like to call your hometown?

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Settings I Could Live In

Blackberry Springs, Alabama — where newcomers can find family, awesome swimming hole

Chawton, England (post-WWII) — it’s where Jane Austen lived!

Edisto Island, South Carolina — southern coastal town, great seafood restaurants, nearby Charleston

Hope Harbor, Oregon — beautiful landscape, interesting mix of new and long-time residents, quirky taco truck owner, engaging seagulls

Maryville, Mississippi — great neighbors, a chance to get involved in the community

St. Simons Island, Georgia — coastal town with a small town feel, artsy, community commitment to important issues

Three Sisters Island, Maine — quirky and independent citizens, wonderful family vacation camp

Top 10 Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors of 2020

26 Jan

After reviewing my reading list for 2020 in preparation for this post, I realized I was not a very adventurous reader last year! Top 10 Tuesday is about New-To-Me Authors of 2020. I didn’t have to pare down my list much to achieve just 10. By comparison in just the first month of 2021, I have read 3 new-to-me authors! But what I lacked in quantity, I can say were quality! Some of the books on my list are the writer’s debut, but many are not, causing me to fill my TBR wishlist with lost of backlists.

I’d love to hear which new-to-you authors have become your favorites.

 

For more new authors, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top New-To-Me Authors of 2020

(And Their Books)

 

Above The Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff

 

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

Merciless by Tamara Leigh

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

 

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

Audiobook Review: The Jane Austen Society

24 Jun

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people ― a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others ― could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

 

Natalie Jenner is the author of The Jane Austen Society, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law, and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

 

My Impressions:

I heard about The Jane Austen Society from a number of sources, but it was my bookish friends who raved about this book that made me give it a go. I love Jane Austen, as well as all of the re-imaginings and variations on her books and life. This novel seemed to be one destined for me. I chose the audiobook version because I have lots to do this summer and need to squeeze my pleasure reads into any available time I can find. So I listened while I walked, cooked, and managed other chores and errands. I flew through it! It captured my attention and imagination immediately. So, thanks to all who recommended it.

The book is a fictional account of a small group of people who want to preserve Jane Austen’s home and legacy for future generations. The characters are extremely varied, having little in common except for the impact Austen has had on their lives. Jenner creates an ensemble cast that you will take into your heart. I can’t even say I have a favorite among them — the main characters are all so wonderful. The story details a good deal of sadness, disappointments, regrets, and heartaches. I admit that I was wondering if I was ever going to get to anything happy. 😉 If you feel that way too, stick with this book. You won’t be sad or disappointed. Although you don’t have to be an Austen fan to enjoy this book, it just might prompt you to pick up those unread novels. There are plenty of references to Austen’s books and parallels between Austen’s characters and Jenner’s. True Janeites are apt to swoon. 😉 It is really hard to believe this is a debut novel. The complex construction, plotting, and heartfelt storytelling are masterful. And the epilogue? Brilliant!

One thing to note: this is a general market book, so there is some adult language and situations that some may find offensive. I am not a fan of the use of a certain word, but it was used sparingly and by a particularly odious character. Richard Armitage is the narrator — he does a great job with the variety of voices.

Recommended (with adult language/situation warning)

Audience: adults

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)