Series: Austenland #1
Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: May 29th 2007
I am an Austenlover. So naturally I gravitate to any and all books about, including, or based off Jane Austen’s novels.
Summary taken from Goodreads:
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?
I guess I expected a little too much when I read this. I was expecting to be wisped away like I was when I first read Pride and Prejudice or Emma. That’s not saying this novel wasn’t good, because it was. The novel is a modern day remake of Pride and Prejudice where Jane is going to a resort where she would be playing the role of an Austen character, and actually ends up becoming a modern day Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. Now, the Mr. Darcy was pretty swoon worthy…that I will admit. I liked everything about him and his surly attitude. But, they are all actors so I wondered if he was really like that. Mr. Darcy isn’t Mr. Darcy without the surly attitude and I’m not sure I would love him if he weren’t surly. The novel was a cute read that had me smiling, but I found there were a lot of things that seemed a bit slow, and not necessarily important. I did expect some of the other characters to fit Austen’s characters more, and some did, but some also didn’t and I guess I will a little disappoint. But, I mean I couldn’t expect just a modern retelling of the original story, because that would not be what Hale had in mind. I have to admit I still like the read. I smiled thinking about all things Darcy and all things Miss Elizabeth Bennet. I was brought back into the world of Austen and it would be a dream come true if I was able to spend a day in the story of Pride and Prejudice. I think I would potentially feel like Jane Hayes if I spent more time there that a day or two. I would probably get bored and want a shower. But still, one can dream, right?
Jane—a pretty good modern day Elizabeth Bennet with some twists of her own.
Mr. Darcy—the original bad boy always makes me swoon, and to dream that he could be real and in our modern world makes my knees go weak.
The novel at times was a little slow.
Overall (Writing style, story line, and general):
Overall the novel was well written. I never had to re-read, and I never misunderstood anything. The idea of going to a place called Austenland was original and inviting. Some of the story line was a little slow, but overall the characters were unique and interesting to read about. And of course anything to do with Jane Austen and her characters makes me smile.
Next in the Series:
Viewer Type Recommendation:
If you are a Jane Austen lover, or a lover of contemporary romance that doesn’t include nudity than this is for you.
If you liked this you'll probably love:
Jane Austen novels, Wife for Hire by Christine Bell, Ugly Duckling Series by Manda Collins, Something About You Julie James, A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer, Marriage to a Billionaire series by Jennifer Probst, Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot