Monday, June 2, 2014

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Synopsis: 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?

My thoughts: As an Austen fan, if I could die and choose a place to go to, I would definitely choose England around the XIXth century. Why? One answer: Jane Austen. Case closed.

                But relax, you don’t have to die to have an Austen experience: just get rich and go to Pembroke Park! LOL When Jane’s great-aunt dies and leaves her a 3-weeks trip to someplace called Pembroke Park, Jane doesn’t have many choices but to accept it and travel to Kent, England, to live an experience that maybe would cure her from her Pride and Prejudice’s Obsession, especially from Colin Firth’s role as Mr. Darcy in the BBC series. But when she is faced with the task to live – which includes no electronics devices – and behave like a XIXth century lady, things get a little bit more difficult than she expected, and perhaps she isn’t up to the challenge.

                What to say about this book? Well, it’s H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S from the beginning to the end! Every chapter began with a little talk about one of Jane’s boyfriend, each one a bigger asshole or mistake than the other. Jane – let’s not discuss the fact that the character has the same name as the famous author – is very funny and I laughed a lot! I’m in love with Mr. Nobley, one of the gentlemen that were in the experience, despite the fact that he behaved like a complete jerk/asshole and resembled A LOT Mr. Darcy – taciturn, reserved, seemed to be borrowed with every damn thing – so you can see why I love in – yes, I’m a Darcy fan/lover.

                My wish? That this book wasn’t so short and that this place actually existed! I hope that when I get reeeeally old and rich I’ll be able to built this place so that all the Austen’s fans – because let’s face it, no one will ever get tired of Miss Austen’s novels – could go there and have their experience.

                The writing wasn’t that complex like the original novels, but there were many references to Austen’s books, especially about P&P and Mansfield Park, the only novel that I haven’t read yet. Even though I really liked the novel, I think it lacked in the writing category, especially when this wasn’t the author’s first novel, since she wrote child books, but as an adult’s book, the text should be a little bit better done or better written, since the “mind’s demand” – let’s call it that – is bigger.

                This book was published in 2007 in the U.S., but where I am it only got here now! Yes, the press here is that slow. And worse: a movie was made in the meantime and no one ever knew about it! How did this happened?!  Here is the movie trailer so that you can see it for yourself:


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