Review: Austenland

Title: Austenland Image

Author: Shannon Hale

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. 

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

Review: It’s weird… I would recommend this book to so many people despite there being nothing magnificent/masterpiece-worthy about it.

I’m pretty sure that every woman goes through a Jane Austen phase at some point in their life. This book is for those of us in love with an Austen hero (Mr. Darcy for me!). It allows us to explore the what ifs — what if we lived in that time period, what if we found love, what if there really exists a place like Pembroke Park so that modern women could escape to Austenland to be in a fantasy. This book was a guilty pleasure and I loved every minute of it — and I think that is what a book should do: transport the reader to the world of what ifs.

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