Austenland by Shannon Hale
Release Date: May 29, 2007
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary / Romance / Regency
Series: Austenland, Book One
About the Book:
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 more real 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 Austen is my all-time favorite author. I’ve read all of the books, watched all of the film adaptations multiple times, and even delved into some modern-day Jane Austen novels and movies. I’ve even watched the movie version of Austenland a few years ago and just recently picked up Shannon Hale’s novel at my local bookstore. Jane Hayes is a character that can be relatable because she is obsessed with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy. Her obsession is so extreme that it affects her life.
So as a way to say goodbye to Mr. Darcy and choose to look for a real man, she takes a vacation to Austenland. It’s a place where characters roleplay and pretend to be in Jane Austen’s Regency England. The premise of the retreat was quite original and intriguing. Honestly, I wish such a place were real. The author makes you feel as if you were there, experiencing it all with Jane.
If you need a good fun, light, and a good laugh, you’ll want to check out this novel. It’s short and easily a quick read. While this is not Christian Fiction and is categorized as an adult novel, it is quite clean.
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About Shannon Hale:
Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of fifteen children’s and young adult novels, including the popular Ever After High trilogy and multiple award winners The Goose Girl, Book of a Thousand Days, and Newbery Honor recipient Princess Academy. She also penned three books for adults, beginning with Austenland, which is now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. She co-wrote the hit graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack and illustrated chapter book The Princess in Black with husband Dean Hale. They live with their four small children near Salt Lake City, Utah.