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.

9 comments:

Marcia Mickelson said...

I loved Austenland. It's the only one of her novels that I've read, but I'm eager to read the others. It was such a fun book especially if you're a big P&P fan.

Heather B. Moore said...

I recommended it to my bookgroup. It will be fun to see what everyone has to say.

Janette Rallison said...

I can hardly wait to read this one. I love Shannon's books.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I really loved this book -- and it was funny to me how she tapped right in to the Mr. Darcy obsession so many women have.

I have it too.

Heather B. Moore said...

I might read this again :)

Steve & Emi Edgley said...

I did not like this book at all... especially the scene in which Jane throws herself at the gardner (and even wraps her legs around him) in his room. In my mind, this is not a novel that Jane Austen would be proud of (based on literary quality), nor one that should be representative of LDS values.

Heather B. Moore said...

This book is not supposed to be literary, just a fun play on the obsession that the main character has on the "perfect" Mr. Darcy. While the author happens to be LDS, it's not an LDS book or marketed to an LDS audience. While Hale's other books are YA, this one is written for an adult audience.

Tamra Norton said...

I just finished Austenland and really loved it! I loved Jane's quirks and loved how she finally became comfortable in her own skin. And I loved Mr. Nobely!!!

larajanae said...

Cheese me out. That's all I can say.