Wednesday, October 28, 2009


by Shannon Hale

Dedication: "For Colin Firth. You're a a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends."

First paragraph: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something women 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. There was no husband, but those weren't necessary anymore. There were boyfriends, and if they came and went in a regular stream of mutual dissatisfaction - well, that was the way of things, wasn't it?"

Review: Jane has a secret - she's very in to (some people might call it obsessed) with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Or more specifically Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice made into the BBC double DVD movie. The Pride and Prejudice starring the all too handsome and charming Colin Firth. Her obsession has been a measure for all past relationships and it takes a forced lunch with a dying great aunt to make her realize that she is self sabotaging. Because of her obsession she is given a chance to live her dream or maybe a nightmare? Three weeks submerged into the 1800's to take part in acting, romance, dancing, a ball, and maybe more ...

The characters in this book were very well developed. While I couldn't completely relate with the book or the submerging yourself in another time due to some suppressed fantasy I enjoyed it all the same. I loved that the main character struggled with the idea of Austenland. How even though she was very into Mr. Darcy, she wasn't sure she could be in to the acting and becoming someone else. That was something I could relate with. But I rejoiced with her as she made her self fit in and become a part of the story.

There were other characters in the book that I came to love as well. I think that maybe they were a bit obvious and I predicted a lot of things but that is sort of how it goes in a story about romance. You figure either everyone will end up a miserable horrible life, or they will live happy with their ending. I always choose happy - that's just how I am.

This book was so good. I have never been obsessed with Jane Austen's work but I have enjoyed it when I've read it and I thought that Hale's book really did her justice. Hale used the Colin Firth fantasy to her advantage and it really worked out. I would definitely suggest this book to the hopeless romantics, the starry-eyed dreamers, or even just someone who is looking for some laughs and a new take on Jane Austen without the zombies.

Click Here for Shannon Hale's official website on Austenland

P.s. Just a side note on my admiration for Shannon Hale. I love that she can write several books without the stories all being basically the same like some authors. I have been able to read several of her books over the last few weeks/months without feeling like I'm repeating and I love it.

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