Thursday, August 23, 2007
Austenland by Shannon Hale
I really enjoyed this book. Shannon Hale is a well-known middle-grade author, having won a Newbery Award for her book, Princess Academy. Austenland is Hale's first book written for adults. If you're a fan of Jane Austen, specifically of Pride and Prejudice (the book or the movies), I guarantee you'll find Austenland delightful. Publisher's Weekly had some not-so-complimentary things to say about the depth of characterization, but I picked it up anyway. And I was pleasantly entertained.
So on to the story. Thirty-three year old Jane Hayes, is seriously addicted to Mr. Darcy, more specifically Colin Firth in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Upon the death of a wealthy aunt, Jane inherits a trip to Pembrook Park, Kent, England, to a resort where guests pretend to live in Jane Austen's era. From the conversation, the mannerisms, the dress, the food . . .
Jane Hayes is looking for her Mr. Darcy. Ready to give up on dead-end relationships altogether, Jane struggles with overcoming her personal obsession and finding a "real" relationship in the twists and turns of Austenland.
This novel is unpredictable and quite funny, with a main character who's quirky at times, but easy to relate to.