Author: Shannon Hale
My Rating: 3.5 Needlepoint Stars
I’ve fallen into a deep, deep Jane Austen hole y’all. In July I read three Austen retellings. AND I discovered that Austenland (one of my favorite Jane Austen related movies) was also a book! So, on a Monday I read Austenland and then watched the movie to compare. It was a pretty quick read, I was able to finish it in a day. And it was adorable, awkward, and funny.
Upon the death of her aunt, Jane inherits a three week vacation to Austenland – an authentic regency experience in England. Since Jane has had a sad dating history and an unhealthy obsession with Pride and Prejudice (specifically Mr. Darcy) for most of her life, she decides to take the trip and confront her Darcy obsession head on. Then she can go home and be happily single for the rest of her life. One problem…the actors in Austenland are good, really good. And when it’s time to leave, Jane might have a little trouble distinguishing what was scripted from what was real.
Y’all, first I’m going to say if you love Jane Austen, read this book! There are so many moments that true Austen fans will appreciate and relate to. Also, if you’ve seen the movie, you should still read this book because it’s actually quite a bit different. Personally, I think Jane was a little more sad and pathetic in the movie than in the book. So it’s not quite as cringe inducing to read as it was to watch. Second, I feel like I have to let you know this isn’t a groundbreaking piece of literature. It’s a well crafted, romantic comedy, that’s aimed toward lovers of Jane Austen and regency romance in general. So read it for what it is and just enjoy it!
There are some great characters here, and if you’re familiar with Austen’s work, you’ll start to draw parallels to her characters. Obviously, Mr. Nobley is the resident brooding Darcy, and he does a fantastic job. The chemistry between him and Jane is *chef’s kiss* perfection. Then you have the hot gardener, Martin – clearly the Wickham of this story. Tons of fun, until he’s not. Colonel Andrews, a literal saint for putting up with Miss Charming, is goofy but lovable in a very Mr. Collins sort of way. If this paragraph was gibberish to you, then you probably haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, and that’s ok! I believe this story will still be fun to read even if you don’t know anything about Jane Austen.
It is also my duty to let you know there’s a second book set in Austenland called, “Midnight in Austenland” and there are several familiar characters in it! It’s more like a gothic mystery and there’s a lot more excitement and action. I also recommend it if you have a Jane Austen itch you need to scratch.
Krystle Goodman is a crazy cat lady, who loves to drink exorbitant amounts of coffee, and read a shocking amount of books. She lives in Benton with her husband Josh, her son Roman, and their two cats Roxanne and Abby. When she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cooking, painting, or watching true crime shows. Watch for Krystle’s book reviews every other Friday. Send fanmail to: [email protected]
See more of Krystle’s reviews at www.mysaline.com/krystle.