Friday, August 17, 2007


Austenland by Shannon Hale

Here's the blurb:

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?

Jane a graphic artist, has an obsession with Mr. Darcy, yummy Colin Firth. She compares all her boyfriends to Mr. Darcy, and unfortunately they do not measure up. When her great aunt Carolyn leaves her a non-refundable ticket to resort who cater to Austen/regency enthusiasts, she takes it hoping that she'll be rid of her obsession once and for all.

I can understand the whole obsession with Mr. Darcy. The character must be the most desired man in the world of fiction. Here's a man that is proud and judgmental, but he falls in love with a woman that some feel isn't an appropriate match. But he pursues her and professes his love, but she refuses him. Soon after Miss Bennett, she learns the truth about Mr. Darcy. He helps her, shows her that she important to him, all that matters is making her happy. Who doesn't want to be treated that way?

I wasn't too sure if I would enjoy this book, I have read some of the Austen type companions to the novels, some I've enjoyed and some I haven't, but this one was the first that is set in a Regency reenactment resort. But I was pleasantly surprised. It started off a little slow to me, but we learn that Jane is Darcy obsessed and is somewhat ashamed of it, and then we learn about Aunt Carolyn's gift, and then it goes on to the trip, and it just takes off. Jane adjusting to the costumes, time, the speech and keeping her act together. The characters were very well written, the dialog was quick and funny. I loved it.

I really don't want to give too much info, I don't want to ruin the experience for someone else.

I highly recommend the book.

Rate: 4.5/5, Library book


Ana said...

This one sounds interesting, not your usual P&P sequel or spin off.

Leya said...


If you get a chance to read this one I think that you'll enjoy it.


Sim@chapter1-take1 said...

Hi Leya, I know you wrote this a long time ago but did you know they are making a movie out of this book? It's supposed to come out this year sometime. I didn't know what the book was about but I love Jane Austen AND Colin Firth (haha) and I loved your review. I'm adding this one to my tbr pile.