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Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale

Austenland: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Shannon Hale

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1,684None4,231 (3.44)167
Title:Austenland: A Novel
Authors:Shannon Hale
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Romance, Your library (inactive)

Work details

Austenland by Shannon Hale (2007)

2007 (23) 2008 (12) 2009 (11) 2013 (14) adult (18) Adult Fiction (14) audiobook (14) Austen (56) chick lit (175) Colin Firth (10) contemporary (29) ebook (17) England (89) fiction (235) humor (22) Jane Austen (158) library (20) Mr. Darcy (15) novel (12) own (16) Pride and Prejudice (34) read (44) read in 2007 (12) read in 2008 (17) regency (14) romance (179) single women (13) to-read (45) vacation (11) vacations (13)
  1. 10
    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. 10
    Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen (elbakerone)
  3. 21
    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 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 167 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
Loved it! What can I say, I would love to go to Austenland, but I would take my own Mr. Bradford with me. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Loved it! What can I say, I would love to go to Austenland, but I would take my own Mr. Bradford with me. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
At times, knowing what you're in for can be comforting, relaxing even. I often reread favourite novels for precisely this reason, to be on familiar terrain, to know everything that is going to happen. I find it relaxing.

Ultimately, this is what I enjoyed about Austenland: it's predictability. While I had not previously read it, the blurb, and the premise of the novel made it clear to me that this would be chick-lit with an Austen flavour. No doubt distantly related to Bridget Jones's Diary. Great. I wasn't sitting down to The Expendables and hoping for Julius Caesar.

True to form, it required a very healthy suspension of disbelief (the biggest for me was the entire plot driver: Jane's Aunt Carolyn/Caroline knowing she is obsessed with Colin Firth's Darcy based on her single status and a hidden DVD? That's one Sherlockian relo).

At times supporting characters were drawn a little thin; the audience learns so little about the motivations or back stories of the either the characters the actors of Austenland are playing, or the actors themselves, that it's difficult to imagine any characters connecting on a meaningful level, let alone falling in love. I can only conclude that whist must have aphrodisiac-like qualities.

Finally, most women I know are also fully aware that Mr Darcy, is ultimately a fictional character, and that the romantic expectations portrayed in Pride & Prejudice are not entirely an accurate representation of healthy productive real life relationships. So, the perpetuation of this notion that women need to exorcise their enjoyment/occasional indulgence of these fantasies in order to find a fulfilling relationship was a touch grating. But, narrative tension is required I suppose.

Quibbles aside, while I'm not in a hurry to rush out and read the next 'Austenland' instalment, overall I enjoyed this book.

P.s. Do people really feel they need to hide their Pride and Prejudice DVD's?
( )
  Lee_P | Mar 30, 2014 |
For me, Austenland started great, veered off on a boring course for a while, and finally got back on track in the end.

So, in a nutshell, a single, Darcy-obsessed chick is given the trip of a lifetime to Austenland, a regency themed vacation, similar to winning on role on PBS’ Regency House Party (for those of you awesome enough to have watched that :) ). I personally would LOVE if such a place existed. I am not ashamed to admit that I have googled “regency fair” to see if renaissance-fair style Austen festivals exist (none near me).

But the Darcy-obsessed chick gets to Austenland…and it’s all very anti-climatic. She’s bored. Instead of being happy, taking in all the details, checking out the costume-clad Darcy wannabes, she wants to go back to her normal life. Because the character was bored, I was bored. A less dedicated reader might have sat the book aside.

However, if you stick with it, it DOES get better. Plot twist I didn’t see coming. And a happy ending that saved the whole book.

Sadly, the movie isn't showing near me. So I guess I'll be waiting on DVD. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
Austenland: A Tasty Treat: As an adult fan of Shannon Hale's young adult books (The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Newbery Honor book Princess Academy), it is fun to see her ply her considerable talent to lighter fare. This is a very different voice from her lyrical fantasies. Austenland is sassy, fresh, and smart, with engaging dialog and brilliant comic timing.

Jane, the main character, who goes on a three-week Austen-themed vacation in an attempt to kick her Colin-Firth-as-Mister-Darcy habit, is caught between the allure of empire waist gowns and men in breeches and her resolve to distill from the experience something real. She is surrounded by a delightful cast of funny (sometimes hysterical) supporting characters. I laughed out loud. And giggled. I actually giggled. I immensely enjoyed this delightful book.

But Austenland is not for everyone. It might not be for you if a) you are an Austen purist and believe that Jane Austen's name and works are sacred, b) you don't care much for Colin Firth, c) you are quite young (the book's intended for adults), or d) you haven't much by way of a sense of humor.
  lonepalm | Feb 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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