Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale, (2007) Katherine Kellgren (Narrator)
- If you love Jane Austen novels, this book is for you.
- If you love the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and think Colin Firth is the BEST EVER Darcy, this book is for you.
- If you enjoy a lighthearted romance that you would not be embarrassed to share with your mother or your daughters, this book is for you.
- If you are currently sewing period dresses for a daughter who has become involved in English Country Dancing and making note of how most of the fullness in Regency style empire waisted skirts is at the back at of the dress to allow for a smooth profile from the front, this book is for you.
Thirty-two year old Jane Hayes feels like she is a loser at love. She has the DVD of the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice which she pulls out when she needs a shot of Mr. Darcy. She longs for the romantic connection of an Elizabeth Bennet-and-Fitzwilliam Darcy sort in her own life.
She is bequeathed a trip to "Jane Austen World" in England, by a great-aunt. Pembrook Park lets the "campers" live and breathe 18th century England, complete with elegant gowns, etiquette and diversions. Jane decides this is her opportunity to purge herself of her Darcy neediness by immersing herself in the fantasy. She is a 21st century person at heart though, so as she becomes accustomed to corsets and dresses that are not conducive to exercise, there is a part of her that holds back. In her heart she knows the "gentlemen" are actors but that does not keep her from wishing for a true romance.
I enjoyed Jane's ability to match the events at Pembrook Park to the plots and characters from Jane Austen's novels. This is an entertaining and fun summer read. No one can "do" Jane Austen. Austenland is Shannon Hale's curtsy to the master.
I listened to audio version of the book because of my schedule. I enjoyed it but I am also looking forward to going back and actually reading it, which is something I rarely do.