I recently did a review on Shannon Hale’s Midnight in Austenland, and in the review I mentioned I was planning on reading the book’s friend, Austenland. Well, I have and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much.
Austenland was amazing on an entirely different level. The mystery is of a different nature, and yet just as intriguing and page-turning. The romance is a different quality, but is still very beautiful and heart-wrenching.
This book follows a middle-aged woman named Jane Hayes who is followed by a trail of very painful and disappointing relationships. She fell in love with Pride and Prejudice when she was a teenager and she has been haunted by her idea of Mr. Darcy ever since. When she arrives at Austenland, she has an entirely different view of it. Jane goes into Austenland wanting to get swept up with the fantasy and hoping to leave it three weeks later with her Mr. Darcy obsession kicked and having become the strong, independent woman she believes she ought to be. Those three weeks are just as swift and confusing and full of existential questioning as Charlotte of Midnight in Austenland‘s were. Jane’s painful awareness of the actors and their two-sided (or more) nature confuses and blinds her to the reality of her own story and her own happy ending.
Different from her other book, Shannon Hale’s Austenland still succeeded in sucking me into her twisting plot and keeping me turning the pages and hoping ardently for a happy ending until the very last page.
I look forward to reading some of Shannon Hale’s other books and I encourage you to read this one. Happy reading!!
~The Wise Girl