Monday, September 24, 2007

Austenland, by Shannon Hale

In a nutshell: Pure fun. This book reads like your modern romantic comedy. You could spend 2 hours staring at a movie screen, or about the same amount of time reading this book. Either way, I'm sure you'd find the time enjoyable.

This book has fun with A&E's Pride and Prejudice and "every girl's desire" for a Mr. Darcy (aka Collin Firth) of her own. (Don't worry, dear, I'm not thinking of the book that way.) In this book we find ourselves living through the eyes of thirty-something-and-still-unmarried Jane. Jane's well-to-do aunt dies and leaves her a very odd gift in her will. Jane has been given a three week vacation to Austenland. For three weeks she gets to travel to the lake district, dress up in Regency style clothing and pretend that she's Elizabeth Bennet . . . essentially. Jane has sworn off love and romance and is determined to take this trip only to conquer her infatuation with Mr. Darcy. She wants to assure herself once and for all that Mr. Darcy is a myth that must be destroyed so that she can live a happy life.

But of course this book is like a romantic comedy. So, of course, you know she's going to find her own Mr. Darcy and its all going to be just great. This book reminded me a lot of Kate & Leopold (which I heartily recommend if you haven't seen it!). It's just plain fun in an "otherworld" romantic sort of way. There is humor, wit and quite a bit of Austen spunk mixed into it. I don't like romance books and this isn't one of them. This is a "love gone awry in a funny way but it comes back around at the end so you avoid the mushy details" type of book. Just my type.

Just go out and find a copy. I picked up a copy at the library and am glad I did. I wouldn't say it was so good that I'd want to read it over and over again. However, if they make it into a movie, I'd be tempted to buy the DVD and watch it repeatedly. It's worth it!


Alison said...

Oh drat. Now I have to add this book to my "want to read" list. Shame on you! ~A

P.S. Take that as a compliment, btw. ;-)

Sarah M. said...

This is a book, I think every Austen fan should read. Don't expect it to be written in Austen style, but anyone who's enjoyed P&P or any of her other books -- not to mention the movies -- will enjoy it.

Framed said...

I read this book because I love Shannon Hale's other books. Austenland is completely different but a great showcase for Hale's sense of humor. I enjoyed it a lot.

*carrie* said...

Found you via Becky B. This one is already on my list. That version of P+P is my favorite!

Em said...

I really liked this book too. I think it would make a great movie! :-)

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