Ok. I’ll admit it up front. I’m drawn to anything Jane Austen like a butterfly to a flower or cookies to milk or pen to paper. I was browsing through the library looking for a good book to read and my eyes zeroed in on Austenland by Shannon Hale. It was almost like a flashing sign you see in Vegas. blink. blink. blink. Austenland. Austenland. Jane Austen. What – is – this?? Of course, this little gem came home with me and I couldn’t wait to settle in for a good read. And I wasn’t disappointed.
It was a relatively short book, less than 200 pages. So I whipped through it in a day. Well… if I’m being totally honest, it took me two days….because I read it twice. I didn’t want to leave Austenland and I wanted to reread it when I knew the ending.
Jane Hayes is a 30 something, single woman with a long list of ex-boyfriends. With each break-up, she fantasizes more about the Jane Austen men like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Ferrars, Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knightley, but mostly Mr. Darcy. No one measures up to Mr. Darcy. She unexpectedly receives an all-expense paid, three week trip to an English resort, which caters to Austen-crazed women. Should she go? Is she crazy? Will she meet her Mr. Darcy? She decides to go and is immersed in the early 1800’s Jane Austen era with dress, manners, speech, etiquette and challenges. What’s real and who’s acting? Does she find Mr. Darcy? You have to read the book to find out. Zing.