By Shannon Hale; Bloomsbury 2007
Summary: 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?
Just like Jane in this novel, so many of us have had the fantasy of living in Elizabeth Bennet's shoes and securing a Mr. Darcy. And when given the chance, how many of us would jump at the opportunity to go on a three week vacation to an Austenland resort and have men fall all over you like Elizabeth? It would be a dream come true right? But there is something that Jane learns in this novel that has really has changed my view of living the life of Elizabeth. Jane learns the difference between reality and fantasy. We spend all this time thinking how we should of been born in the 18th century to live the life of Jane Austen, when we could be living out our reality lives. Yes sometimes it isn't as exciting, but hey this is our century so lets live it out to the best of our abilities! There was a quote in Austenland that I loved. “Figure out what is real for you. No use leaning on someone else's story all your life.” How true is that! We need to find what is real for us and stop leaning on Jane Austen's book to find happiness. Amen and walk away.
If you are looking for some good ole romance, some Jane Austen, and some humor then this is the book for you. I truly do love this book and for the turning point of a life time in the mind of Channing. Genius. Keep on reading everyone!
Watch Out For: Some kissing and minor profanity.