Sunday, November 8, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "Austenland"

By Shannon Hale
Copyright 2007
Bloomsbury USA
Adult Fiction

Okay, pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I love anything and everything Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice--one of my favorite books and movies. I remember dragging hubby and a male friend to go see "Sense and Sensibility", the movie, when it came out in theaters years ago--an event hubby STILL complains about to this day (it was payback for being dragged to go see "I Know What You Did Last Summer"--I hate scary movies, even if they're the fakey kind of scary).

So I find this book at the library about a woman who also loves anything and everything Jane Austen, and of course I can relate, so I check it out. The character in the book, Jane Hayes, has a secret obsession with Mr. Darcy (and I can totally understand why). She seems to compare all the men in her life with him. And it's ruining her dating world. No one can measure up to the steamy, sultry, tempestuous Mr. Darcy.

A distant relative discovers Jane's secret obsession and bequeaths a trip to "Austenland" to Jane in her will. Jane travels to England and to a world she has previously only known in books. Taking in the experience of living in this historical fiction world, Jane faces some interesting challenges, men who are acting the part of her regency dreamboat (or are they acting?), etiquette rules she has only read about, and love triangles like no other. In the process, Jane discovers a few things about herself.

I have often thought I was born in the wrong century, and this novel let's the reader play along with Jane Hayes and act out what it would be like to have been born into Jane Austen's world.
The author, Shannon Hale, creates a fun story that can be appreciated by any Jane Austen fan. The story was lighthearted, and maybe a little bit too predictable at the end, but it was still an enjoyable read!

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