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Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
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Austenland: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Shannon Hale

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2,0102143,338 (3.42)180
Member:BookMystique
Title:Austenland: A Novel
Authors:Shannon Hale
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Romance, Your library (inactive)
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Austenland by Shannon Hale (2007)

  1. 20
    Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another modern woman's look at life in Jane Austen's era -- with entertaining and surprising results.
  2. 20
    Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen (elbakerone)
  3. 31
    Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (elbakerone)
  4. 00
    Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Definitely check this out if you liked the other. Both chick lit, both very fast, light, and amusing reads for any Austen fan.
  5. 00
    Both Sides of Time and Out of Time by Caroline B. Cooney (rosylibrarian)
  6. 01
    Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster (nicole_a_davis)
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» See also 180 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
I am a huge Jane Austen fan so I was happy to find this at my local library to read. I had seen the movie several months ago and really liked it. I love the idea of going to a place like Pembrook Park and experiencing the culture of Regency England but it if was anything like the Pembrook Park in the book I don't think it would be possible for it to exist. I thought Hale's writing had different facets that I enjoyed - it was funny but also heartfelt when it came down to Jane's struggles with not knowing what it was she truly wanted. I think there is a bit of Jane Hayes in all of us who fall "in love" with fictional characters and find yourself comparing the real people in your life to those characters. It was very easy to compare Jane to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Nobley to Mr. Darcy. I really really really disliked Miss Charming's character though. She just seemed like a complete fool and had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I was really confused why she would even want to be there in the first place. Overall this book was a fun read. I liked reading it but I don't see myself buying it or reading it again. ( )
  pennma05 | Jul 21, 2016 |
Jane Hayes is so stuck on the image of Fitzwilliam Darcy that she cannot have a relationship with a “real” man. Her great aunt Caroline recognizes this, though Jane seems oblivious, and gives her a unique bequest in her will – an all-expenses-paid three-week vacation at Pembrook Park (i.e. Austenland). There Jane will live the regency period romantic fantasy that she’s held dear since she first read Pride and Prejudice at age sixteen.

I read Hale’s The Princess Academy and enjoyed it, so was expecting a decent “chick lit beach read.” This book, however, didn’t do it for me. The writing was hackneyed – for example: “The silence quivered.” Also, the lead character was just too poorly drawn. I can forgive the other cardboard characters she finds at the estate, because they are all actors playing a role (and quite poorly in some cases – e.g. Sir Templeton) and are supposed to be obvious. But Jane, herself, seems so clueless, so out of it, so one-track, that I just couldn’t stand her and really didn’t care whether she ever got her act together. Also starting the chapters with a short description of each of her past boyfriends – from age 4, no less - was just useless!

Katherine Kelgren’s reading on the CD is pretty good, considering the material she has to work with. Although her accent gets confused with Miss Charming, I think the character was written that way (she’s a Southern woman who is trying to affect a British accent and doing quite poorly at it). At least she moves right along and doesn’t drag it out. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 14, 2016 |
First note: Does help to have read Pride and Prejudice, maybe Emma, and maybe Jane Eyre, first. ?Those were the sources of the allusions I 'got' because those are the novels I've read. ?áAt the very least, view a trailer for the BBC movie of P&P that shows you Colin Firth in costume.

Second note: I never found those stories particularly romantic, and I was not moved by the video clip I saw of Firth in a wet shirt. ?áI've never had the slightest desire to be a lady in a manor, flirting under a parasol or whatever. ?á(I read this because I'm a big fan of Hale.)

And yet, I was enjoying this light story of a young woman whose views on men and romance have been skewed by Austen (and Bronte), until the end, when it turned out she didn't really learn her lesson, but instead got a predictably romantic and implausible HEA... which signals to me that any young woman who reads this in hopes of coming to grips with her own Mr. Darcy fixation will be disappointed, if not thoroughly discouraged, re' her own un-fairytale-like reality.

I do wish we'd gotten to know Aunt Carolyn better.
I am going to consider the sequel.


( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
While I did enjoy Austenland, it lacked depth and intensity, and though Jane was strong, she also came off as superficial. ( )
  LaPhenix | Apr 14, 2016 |
This started out with a bang, but quickly fell to romance category writing. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shannon Haleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, AmyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lind, MonicaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ratchford, PattiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stemen, SaraDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Colin Firth

You're a really great guy, but I'm married,

so I think we should just be friends.
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.
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Book description
From the dust jacket: "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 life. No real man can compare.
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, stripped of her modern appliances, Jane throws herself into mastering 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 vanish. Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?"
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Because her obsession with Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life, Jane Hayes is delighted when she gets the chance to take a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, where she hopes to meet a perfect Regency-era gentleman of her own. By the author of Princess Academy.… (more)

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