by Shannon Hale
Series: Austenland #1
Published: May 29, 2007
Genres: Adult Fiction, Retelling, Romance
Format: eBook (197 pages)
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.
A clever mix of escapist fan fiction and a modern re-telling of Jane Austen. When I found out that Stephenie Meyer was making this book into a movie, I HAD to read it. My first thoughts were that (1) there is no conflict in this novel and (2) that this novel is purely escapist. As I went on though, the main character, Jane, became more and more relatable and I changed my mind about the purely escapist idea. It had more depth to it than I thought it would and oh, how I felt for poor Jane as the story went on.
Shannon Hale talks a lot about the Regency period, explaining the why and how of the social customs of the time. I learned a lot and it was delightful not to mention helpful in understanding Jane Austen a little better. The whole book was charming, witty and fun. I was blown away at how creative the whole thing was. I’ve never read anything like it. A must-read for Jane Austen fans and even chick-lit fans.
Content Rating: Medium, for some swear-words here and there and a few make-out scenes.