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Monday, April 9, 2012

"Midnight in Austenland"

by Shannon Hale, AF, 2012, 277p, rating=4
Source:  library

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.
Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?
The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end? (Goodreads)

Fantasy Island to Austenland is back.  This time with a different heroine, Charlotte, and a few new actors to make Charlotte's two week stay a memorable one.  As I understand it, this time around the adventure aligns with Northanger Abbey.  Having not read the book yet, I'll take their word for it.  Anyway, wounds still fresh after her husband leaves her for another woman, Charlotte figures she needs to take a me-time.  Why not go to a place where chivalry and romance are accentuated?  That is surely to give her self-confidence, right?  So off she goes thousands of miles from home to experience Regency England.  And boy was she in for a twist.  With her over imaginative mind added to the game of play murder mystery that Austenland delivered in this juncture, real and fake became a fine line.  Plus, don't forget that a great part of the services that Austenland supplies was romance.  Whoa, that became a fine line with Charlotte too!  In the end, Charlotte's experience in Austenland helped her realize to trust herself again.

This take-you-to-an-elegant-era  read with a twenty-first century wit sure gave me multiple giggle time.  I really enjoyed this installment.  The characters were more developed and overall fun to try to figure out.  I liked the ending better in this one as well.


  1. I've been wanting to read this one. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the review!

  2. i picked this book up from the library but didn't have a chance to actually read it. I need to get it on my hold list again and actually read it! I'm glad to hear you liked it. :)


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