Book Nook: Austenland – Shannon Hale

When I first saw the movie Austenland, I wasn’t even aware that it was a book. It was just a fun movie that happened to have Keri Russell, and I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to see Keri Russell.

Years later, while looking through the book section of a local thrift store, I found a copy of the book. It seemed like perfect timing, since I had recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time a few weeks earlier.

The main character of the book is Jane – a single woman in her 30s who is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (especially the movie version with Colin Firth).

She ends up at a 3-week immersive Austen experience where people pay to feel like they’re in a Jane Austen book.

Jane is unlike others who pay top dollar for such an experience, as her trip was paid for by somebody else. And, even though she is a big fan of Austen’s work, she can see the silliness of all that is going on around her.

Sometimes I give 3 stars to well-written books that just don’t do enough for me to warrant a serious recommendation. However, other times I give 3 stars to books that are very entertaining to read, but they just aren’t that well-written.

This is one of those not-so-well-written books that I wouldn’t discourage someone from reading, because it’s just so darn fun. But I wouldn’t give it any award.

My wife has read other books written by Shannon Hale, and she was surprised at the quality difference between the writing here and the writing in her other books.

Austenland seems like a book that may have been a fun little project she worked on for herself that somehow accidentally got published.

You might have some fun reading this book if you’re a Jane Austen fan who is looking for an easy read. But don’t expect too much.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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