Austenland by Shannon Hale

Genre:  Romance, Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  15 and up

# of pages:  196

RAC Book:  Yes

Jane has had an obsession with Jane Austen or more specifically, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, for many years.  As she experienced one horrendous boyfriend after another in her life she began to dream of the perfect gentleman.  Her great Aunt saw this and in her will arranged for Jane to visit Pembrook Park, which is a place where people dress, talk, and live like they are in Jane Austen’s books.  Jane is unsure if this vacation was for her to get the fantasy out of her system or for her to embrace it.

Upon arriving at Pembrook Park Jane is fitted with clothes and taught the rules she is to follow during her stay.  As Jane interacts with other guests and actors playing parts she begins to have trouble deciding what is real and what is part of the fantasy.  She befriends a gardener as well as the difficult Mr. Nobley.  The idea is for all women to feel like they have lived the romance, which is why Jane struggles to choose which man she really likes as well as which one, if either, truly cares for her.

Austenland is a must read for fans of Jane Austen.  The story is unpredictable, but yet contains many Austen elements, which makes it a lot of fun for those of us who enjoy those types of stories.  Jane is not the only one who would love to live this fantasy and through this book we are all led through this time with a modern eye.  This book is for all those women who love Jane Austen, her stories, her romances, and most of all her men.

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