Austenland

Austenland
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 29, 2007
ISBN
1596912855
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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?

Editor review

1 review
An Obsession With Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Jane Hayes is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy, or with Colin Firth who plays him so well. Although she hides her Pride and Prejudice DVD, her Great-Aunt Carolyn is on to her. When Carolyn dies, she leaves Jane a trip to Regency England, in the form of a vacation at Pembrook Park in England where she will spend three weeks in faux 1816. Jane is not going to go, but then she decides maybe it's the only way to get rid of the whole Mr. Darcy fixation once and for all, and get on with her life. But little does she expect what (or should I say who?) she encounters at the vacation spot.

I wasn't going to read AUSTENLAND at all, figuring it would not appeal to me, since I'm not a fan of regency romantic novels. But when I read the dedication ("For Colin Firth: You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends."), I was hooked. This is a purely enjoyable, light and funny read (perfect summer reading!) with just the right mix of romance and fantasy.
TM
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Austenland
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Misty

I am going to start by saying I am an Austenite. I do not take sequels
and adaptations lightly. I had yet to meet one that satisfied me in
more that a minimal, it-keeps-the-story-going sort of way, until I read
this book (which I did today, not stopping once I started). LOVE. This
is the only thing I have ever read in this genre that even comes close
to making me feel the way I feel when I read my favorite parts of P
& P. I love this book, I can see reading it multiple times the way
I do Austen's books. Brilliant.

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Really Saisfying Read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Readergirl

For a Jane Austen fanatic/ Colin Firth Fangirl, you'd think a trip to Austenland would be the dream vacation you'd be dying to take, but for Jane Hayes, an artist stuck in a job were she has to manipulate pixels instead of her preferred paint, it's a nightmare.

After going through 15 boyfriends, each one breaking her heart a little at a time and leaving little for the next man, let alone for Jane's spirit, only finding comfort in ordering in and watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for the trillionth time, all the while dreaming that soon the day will come when she'll meet her Mr. Darcy, is it any wonder she's a little hesitant to delve fully into her fantasy for fear she might loose herself completely?

But, deciding that going on this trip might help her kick her Darcy obsession once and for all, she goes, hoping her decision wont make everything worse.

In Austenland, she dumps her jeans and t-shirts for bonnets, bloomers, corsets,and gowns, but finds she hasn't taken to her fantasy as quickly as she thought she would, unable to shake the fear of going for something that wont last. But soon, as Jane finds sticking to the rules of Austenland harder then she'd anticipated, and feeling a little silly about being mixed in with the wealthy women who come to Austenland to find a fling, or fulfill a fantasy, she can't "help" but fall for the gardener, Martin, who seems to agree with her about Austenland and it's inhabitants.

But will meeting Martin bring her something long term, or put her right back where she was before coming to Austenland?

Well I'm not going to tell you! :P

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall I thought this was a really cute book! I cared about Jane and wanted to read to the end as things got more exiting! It did get a little depressing in the beginning because Jane had had so many heartaches but things picked up and it ended up being a really satisfying read.


*reposted with permission*


http://readergirlreviews.blogspot.com/

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I love Mr. Darcy!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by The Story Siren

Jane Hayes is obsessed with Mr. Darcy. More particularly Colin Firths portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the film version of Pride and Prejudice. Can you blame her? Really? But, it might have something to do with why the thirty-three yeah old Jane is still unmarried and single. Her obsession for Mr. Darcy keeps any "real" man from measuring up.


Janes Aunt Carolyn is aware of her obsession. When Aunt Carolyn passes away she leaves Jane an all expense paid vacation to Pembrook Park, a resort that lets its guests live like the characters of an Austen novel. Jane has decided to use the vacation as the milestone. Once she has had her fun she will put Mr. Darcy behind herself, forever.


Being myself, slightly obsessed with Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice, I couldnt help but be sympathetic for Jane. And I love the idea of Pembrook Park. How much fun would that be! As far as the story I really enjoyed it! It is a bit of a romance, but that made me enjoy it all the more! This was the first novel by Shannon Hale that I have read, and I really value her writing style. I will be reading more from this author, and I must buy a copy of this book, I am sure I will be reading it again!
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A New Spin on a Tired Austen Obsession
Overall rating
 
5.0
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5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Stephanie

Pembrook Park, with its Victorian-era architecture, costumes, and mannerisms, may seem like a haven for those with lots of cash to spend and craving a departure from the modern world to live a romantic Austenian three-week getaway. For Jane Hayes, however, a thirty-something-year-old New Yorker whose obsession with Mr. Darcy has literally ruined her love life, Pembrook Park just might be her worst nightmare. The vacation was bequeathed her by a wealthy relative who figured out her unhealthy fantasties. Jane has no idea what the relative was thinking. Sticking her into a place where she will undoubtedly get her hopes up for a happy ending?

As Jane navigates the life of an early nineteenth-century British woman, she meets the acquaintances of actors and actresses who work at Pembrook, as well as some other women in her position, there to have a good time. And in spite of her determination to give up men altogether, she can't help but be interested in two: Martin, a tall and charming gardener who makes her feel real, and Mr. Nobley, a closed-off, mysterious gentleman in the household, whose arrogance she despises.

Living at Pembrook Park is a surreal experience, and yet Jane grows into her real-world self, something she couldn't do when she was living her regular old boring life. She begins to realize that it is not healthy for her to dwell on an impossibly perfect man anymore, and is determined to rid herself of that fantasy once and for all. That means rejecting Mr. Nobley's engagement proposal at the end of the three weeks, a proposal that sounds like it comes straight out of a script. Because that's what it is: an act...right? And refusing him is the right thing to do...right?

What if Jane ends up getting everything just when she chooses to give it up?

AUSTENLAND is fantastic! It's a brand new spin on the old Austen obsession for fans of the novels and movies. Sometimes fabricated, other times completely original, AUSTENLAND was a delight for me to read.
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