Thursday, September 12, 2013 books

by Shannon Hale

First sentence:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be on want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.

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?

source: Goodreads

My opinion:
I had this book on my Kindle for quite a while now and since the movie came out in the states in August and I was looking for a quick read I decided to finally read Austenland.

I knew next to nothing about this book and just jumped right into it and was surprised. Austenland tells the story of Jane, an enormous Jane Austen fan, who is sent to a kind of Jane-Austen-Regency-Era camp by her late great-aunt Carolyn. There she stumbles over Regency men, present day gardeners and discovers that not everything is as it seems.

I liked this book but it wasn't what I expected. I imagined a book filled with loving characters and many many Jane Austen like conversations but what I got was a book filled with scenes how life in the Regency period was like. It reminded me of some scenes from Pride and Prejudice where the Bennet sisters all sit around the fire and do embroidery. I know that this was the purpose of this book but it still irritated me a bit. I imagined Jane to be more rebellious than she was in the end.

Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book and found Jane a likeable main character but neither the characters nor the plot wowed me.

If you are looking for an enjoyable book about people from the 21st century trying to live as in the Regency-era check out Austenland.

Midnight in Austenland in the second book in the series.

Movie Trailer:

For more information about Shannon Hale visit her Homepage, Blog, Facebook or Twitter page.

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