back in September 2008, I posted my first book review on Beth Fish
Reads. In it, I failed mention the name of the book or the author (they
were in the post title) and I also failed to mention anything about the
audiobook production, though I labeled the post as an audiobook.
That review was of Shannon Hale's Austenland, a book I recommended as "perfect for a lazy Saturday or to read on the beach or in a airplane." I recently finished Hale's second Austenland book, Midnight in Austenland, and although its plot is little more complicated than the first book, it still counts as great escape reading, especially for Austen fans like me.
- General idea: Charlotte Kinder needs to restart her life and get over the fact that her husband, feeling threatened by her enormously successful online business, left her for a younger woman, but not before manipulating her into giving up some of her assets. Having just discovered Jane Austen, Charlotte decides a trip to Pembroke Park and a few weeks of Regency reenactment fun is just what she needs before regrouping. Despite the harmless flirting, all is not happy in Austenland. When people go missing and a cottage is burned down, Charlotte can't stop herself from investigating the mysteries.
- Thoughts: I loved this mix of woman's literature and cozy mystery. Hale weaves Austen references, Regency manners, and the characters' real and pretend lives into a fun, fun bundle that took my mind off the real world for the entire book. Although Charlotte was a capable woman, I liked that she still had room to grow and wasn't afraid to see where her adventure would take her. The love story in Midnight in Austenland is realistic too and had some similarities to the love story in one of Austen's big novels (I'm not telling which one!).
- Important to know: Although Hale wrote two books about Austenland, they are absolutely, completely standalone books. No need to read them in any particular order.
- Movie alert: Shannon Hale's Austenland is now a major motion picture! If you missed it this fall, no worries, the DVD will be coming out soon-ish.
- Audiobook: I listened to the unabridged audiobook edition (Recorded Books, 9 hr, 6 min), narrated by Stina Nielsen. I loved her accents, pacing, and ability to transmit Hale's humor. Recommended audiobook.
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)