- Uhhh….Who? If you’re one of these people, how in the world have you made it this far? Sorry for calling it as it is, but you should have some rudimentary knowledge or at least heard her name before.
- Jane Austen…*proceeds to roll eyes and shake head* Say no more. I know exactly how you feel because I felt this way for the LONGEST time. In some regards, I still do, but for the most part, I’ve come around.
- JANE AUSTEEEEEEEEN!!!! <3 <3 <3 You probably won’t find very many hardcore fans. They exist, to be sure, but the chances of you encountering one on any ordinary given day are pretty slim. My sister and my English professors from college come close, though.
The main character in Shannon Hale’s novel, Austenland definitely falls into the third category. At first glance, Jane Hayes is an ordinary, 30-something working woman with an insatiable obsession with Jane Austen, specifically her novel, Pride and Prejudice. Her world is so mundane compared to that of Jane Austen and her characters. Miss Hayes would do anything to be part of that world *cue The Little Mermaid*, even if it were just for one day.
Her dream comes true when she discovers that a wealthy relative has passed away and left in her will the perfect vacation for Jane: a 3-week Jane Austen experience. She’ll have the opportunity she’s always dreamed of, which is being submersed fully into the culture of early 19th century England.
At the resort, she meets and befriends a most delightful cast of characters and realizes that in some ways, the Jane Austen world is all she dreamed it would be and in others, not so much. What will be her final verdict? Read the book and find out! Whether you’re an Austen fan or not, I guarantee you will find delight in every chapter.
This book has a film adaptation, which I highly recommend, as well. As a heads up, the book and movie are quite different from each other, but don’t let that deter you. Both are equally wonderful in their own ways. I actually watched the movie first not realizing that there was a book. Anyway, both are fantastic and in this rare case, it doesn’t matter which you decide to enjoy first. Happy reading/viewing! -Lena
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