I discovered this author through the recommendation from Jessica Day George (another author I adore) and I am very glad I did. I keep saying that such-and-such author is my new favorite or such-and-such author is my NEW favorite, and perhaps I am just being presumptuous or I am simply too nice, but I do believe I will enjoy reading all of Shannon Hale’s books.
Midnight in Austenland was amazing. It’s about a middle-aged woman who recently got divorced after the husband she loved with all her heart cheated on her. She is so hurt that she numbs herself to emotion and turns her heart to stone. After dozens of blind dates set up by well-meaning friends, Charlotte feels even worse than before and decides to take a vacation in hopes of finding… well she isn’t sure exactly what… while her kids are staying with the ex-husband. That is how she ends up at Austenland, where people go to pretend you are in the same time era as Jane Austen’s novels. Here, the characters spend two weeks in Pembrook Park dressing in corsets and long-skirted dresses, eating traditional meals, dancing, doing needlepoint, and letting themselves fall in pretend love with the handsome gentlemen actors. Charlotte goes because she has recently fallen in love with every aspect of Jane Austen’s novels. What happens in those few weeks no one expected, especially not Charlotte.
Filled with adventure, romance, friendship, mystery, and gasp-out-loud, fail-to-hide-your-excited-giggle moments, Midnight in Austenland had me hooked until the last page and wishing for more. Perfect from cover to cover, I recommend this book whole-heartedly, and look forward to reading the first book that takes place in this Jane Austen worthy setting, Austenland.
If you enjoyed Jane Austen’s novels, romance, mystery, or wish you could be in a place such as Austenland, I really recommend you read these two books. I loved them very much.
~The Wise Girl