- Title: Austenland
- Author: Shannon Hale
- Paperback: 208 pages
- ISBN-10: 1596912863
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Jane Hayes is a early 30’s single woman in Manhattan. She numbers her previous relationships, referring to them as Boyfriend #1, and so on. No real life man can compare to her dream of Mr. Darcy as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When her aging great aunt discovers this obsession, she confesses that her expectations led her to not appreciate the great man she was married to. Upon her death, she wills to Jane a 3-week vacation to an English resort that reenacts the perfect Regency-era in costumes, etiquette and entertainment.
The owner of the resort has a creepy amount of information on the guests, and Jane is deemed a lower status due to her “economic conditions”. Austenland is cute, funny, and surprisingly relatable. I struggle with knowing the intentions of the resort itself. Is it arranging relationships for these dreamy women? Or just a lively experience? I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially to read it before you see the movie!
Austenland by Shannon Hale: I give it 4/5 Stars
If you liked this book, you would also enjoy:
- Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
- The Actor and The Housewife by Shannon Hale
- Emma – A Latter Day Tale by Rebecca Jamison
* Austenland was made into a movie starring Keri Russell. It didn’t come to many theatres, but it’s one to look for on DVD soon.
My friend Kirsten recently told me about the sequel, Midnight In Austenland. “I was iffy about “Austenland” but I loved the sequel. “Midnight in Austenland” has all the humour of the “Austenland” but a far less neurotic and much more relatable (if that’s a word) heroine. I also highly recommend all the kid/YA fantasy that Shannon Hale has written. She’s a wonderful fantasy author.