Friday, July 9, 2010

Austenland by Shannon Hale (31/2)

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

I Purchased this because: It is Book Club Choice for July '10

Opening Lines: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman 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?

I was excited about reading this wee book as it was on my TBR list for ages ... And it was light-hearted and a really nice wee escape into the world of Austen ( Jane Austen that is ) .... How many of us girls have such a romantic view of that world .... Where the men are gentlemen .... Strong, brooding and devastating handsome .... and women get to dress in gorgeous gowns, have leisurely walks around the gardens and sit reading or embroidering all day .... SIGH .....

This is definitely a book for someone who loves the world of Austen and also chick lit books as this as a mixture of both ... I have read a few of Shannon Hales books now and I have enjoyed them ... But I felt with this book although geared for the adult audience was too fluffy and nice in parts ....

I did love how the start of each new chapter there was a history of all Jane's past failed romances ... And a couple of them I could actually connect to ... ( Shhhh don't tell anyone ) ..... This book should definitely be your bookcase if you are an Austen fan .... It is really light hearted and would be the perfect summer book or sitting in front of the fire with a cup of Hot Chocolate .... You really don't have to concentrate just sit back and enjoy ....

It did frustrate me that the character of Jane kept saying that she was going to emerge herself into the world she found herself in ... But then she kept holding back .... grrr .... She had spend all her life dreaming of living this life and when she as the opportunity she keeps questioning herself .... It did make me LOL when she did her pianoforte performance of "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater" and the dedication to Colin Firth ( Whom we all love ) .....

Some of my favourite quotes ' To Colin Firth ... You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends' Opening cover 'I don't think I could explain it to a man. If you were a woman, all I'd have to say is 'Colin Firth in a wet shirt' and you'd say 'Ah' pg 77

'And if I don't make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world every day of your life, then I don't deserve to be near you' Swoon Pg 190

'A hunter need not spend hours with a pheasant to know it would make a good dinner. A pheasant is nothing more than what it seems, as are hens, foxes, and swans. People are no different. Some may need endless hours of prattle and prancing to know another's worth. I should not." Pg 44

'Of course. It would be uncivil to say I will not enjoy making love to you tonight." Pg 140

So in short this is an easy read .... And it will make you go out and watch the lovely Colin Firth or Lost in Austen series just so you can get it out of your system ..... Ahhhhhhhh ....

I rate this book 31/2 ***

1 comment:

legs said...

Now I'm differing from Irish and giving this book 4 stars. I really loved it and would reccommend it to all the Austen fans out there or even those that dream of their Mr Darcys.
With lines in the book like; "And if I don't make you feel like the beautiful woman in the world every day of your life, then I don't deserve to be near you." How can you not fall in love with this book, I think it was well written and I didn't want to put it down until I finished and even then thought about it more. Well done Shannon Hale, loved it.

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