Friday, November 13, 2009

Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland Austenland by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4.0/5.0

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: May 29, 2007
Pages: 208

My Review:

This is a delightful read. I've been into the Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice inspired books lately and I have read one of Shannon Hale's book so I checked this one out from the library.

I enjoyed the growth of Jane from before she went to the English Austen-like resort to the end of the book when she returns home. She battles with a lot of things during her stay including her attraction to Mr. Darcy. She's on the outside a lot of the time because of the ratio of women to men and the unfortunate fact that she does not have much money and is not expected to be a repeat visitor. Being on the outside gives her more of a perspective on the whole ruse and once she settles down into character she realizes the changes in herself.

I enjoyed this book, it was hard for me to put down. I liked the various characters and really enjoyed Jane. I enjoyed trying to figure out who each character that was introduced was in relation to Jane Austen books. I also liked the absurdity of the resort and the woman caretaker. The fact that you could get thrown out for having a cellphone and how every one had to act all the time, was amusing. I liked the ending especially and wish for more of the book to see what happens to Jane. But like most books that is left up to me and I like books like that.

A quick fun read - if you like Pride and Prejudice or other Jane Austen works or are a fan of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy then this is a great book to read.

About the Book:
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
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