Genre: Chick Lit
Synopsis: The story is about a young woman named Jane who is obsessed with all things Pride and Prejudice. One of her great-aunt, who recently died, gives her an all expenses paid trip to Austenland. It is a period hotel. They give you a persona, wardrobe. You are expected to abide by all of the rules of the Regency era. Jane’s persona is Miss Jane Erstwhile. She starts interacting with the people. As is in most Austen novels, there are a few single men. The one that captures Jane’s fancy is a Mr. Nobly. There is also a gardener named Martin. The other characters are Miss Charming, Amelia… Throughout the book, we see Jane trying to fit into her character. Also the reader gets a little bit of flashback into Jane’s dating life to see what went wrong in her past relationships. She has had many “boyfriends” over the years. I put the term in quotation marks because many people would not qualify her romantic interests as boyfriends.
Anyway, after a number of romantic disappointments, Jane turns to Pride and Prejudice. (You know where this is going right?) Like many women, she wants Mr. Darcy and expects the men she meets to live up to that expectation. As you know, these expectations cannot be met.
Jane feels that her great-aunt gave her the trip to help her get over her obsession with Mr. Darcy. I guess to a certain extent, she does; but she does meet her own Mr. Darcy. What I thought was funny was that as she stay in Austenland, the lines between life and fiction blurs. She believes that the characters are a certain way, but when her time ends she finds out that the other women are married. They just view this as a little vacation for the women. By the end, Jane feels that she has a new lease on life.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: This was an interesting book. It took me a long time to read it. Not because there was anything wrong with the writing, I had a lot going on the week that I read it. It was a fun read. Austenland seems like it would be a great place to vacation. I mean the guests were actually taught how to do the Regency dances. (Sign me up!!) I think the best part of a Regency vacation would be the complete lack of telephones. **sighs** The next book is called Midnight in Austenland. That review will be up shortly.