Austenland

Author: Shannon Haleausten
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date: 2007
Genre: Chick Lit
ISBN: 1596912855
Price: $19.95
Number of Pages: 194
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, E-Book, Audio

Rating Scale: 4O, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html

http://www.twilightlexicon.com/2012/01/28/interview-with-shannon-hale-midnight-in-austenlans/

Links to Reviews

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/shannon-hale/austenland/

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59691-285-4

Reader’s Annotation

Jane’s obsession with Mr. Darcy is out of control. Will a trip to Austenland be the wake-up call she needs?

Plot Summary

The story begins with Jane getting a visit from her mother and aunt. Her aunt finds a hidden DVD of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. The aunt calls Jane out on her Darcy obsession at lunch while her mother is gone from table. The aunt dies and leaves Jane a vacation package to Austenland. Jane, who has gone through a slew of boyfriends, gives up on men altogether and goes on vacation as a last hurrah before living in spinsterhood. Jane gets there and is looked down by the owner, Mrs. Wattlsebrook, because she is not rich like their usual clients. She changes Jane’s name to Miss Erstwhile. Jane meets the gardener, Theodore, as well as Mr. Nobley and Miss Charming. Jane doesn’t know if she is cut out for this sort of experience.

Critical Evaluation

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it extremely humorous and heartwarming. I really connected with Jane’s character and her obsession with Mr. Darcy. I really liked her growth throughout the book and how she started to realize her own faults and why she has had so many failed relationships. I especially enjoyed her rapport with Mr. Nobley. Even though it’s a bit of a cliché, I’ve always enjoy romances where the couple don’t like each other at first. Some would say the book is predictable, but I honestly didn’t care one bit that I could see what was coming. I was having too much fun with the characters to notice.

Appeal Factors

Character-driven, romantic, humorous, YA appeal, book-to-movie

Read-Alikes

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Discussion Ideas

  • Discuss pop culture’s obsession with Jane Austen and why her books are still so prevalent.
  • Discuss Jane’s obsession with Mr. Darcy and her past failed relationships.

Justification of Selection

I adore Jane Austen, so I’m usually very picky about reading books that are about modern-day adaptions, but this book hooked me. The premise sounded very entertaining, so I decided to try it out and I’m very happy that I did. It is a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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