Sunday, July 22, 2007

Austenland


I just finished reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. It is one of those neglect-your-kids and read all day kind of books. I hardly ever read during the day, my kids just won't let me. So, I usually read at night once they're in bed. But, with this book, I let them watch extra TV so I could finish.

Jane, the main character, is like so many of us, some more admitting than others. We all have a small, meaningless crush on Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Well, Colin Firth to be exact. For Jane, it was more of an obsession. Her relationships don't measure up to her expectations. None of her boyfriends can be Mr. Darcy, so she lives a bit in a fantasy land.

A rich aunt leaves her an inheritance -- a vacation to England to live in Austenland, a resort that mirrors Jane Austen times. She wears period clothes and mingles with other guests and actors. They go on long walks, play cards, call on each other. By going along with the vacation, she hopes to rid herself once and for all of the Mr. Darcy obsession so she can go on to live in the real world.

Along the way, she finds love. I really enjoyed the pretend scenes where they talked about matters and acted as you would in Jane Austen times. The characters were colorful and interesting. You find yourself relating to Jane.

Best of all, it was a very clean book. No foul language at all. I did not know at the time that I started reading the book, but Shannon Hale is LDS. She is a YA author, and this is her first adult novel. I highly recommend this book. It is such a fun read.

Okay, I promise, my next post will not be about Jane Austen. I've just been in such a Jane Austen mood lately.

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