Deborah's Reviews > Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
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's review
Feb 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: american-life, award-winning-author, classic-inspired, english-setting, hardback-i-own, latest-reads, new-author-for-me, woman-writer
Read in February, 2012

Cover Rating:
I love this cover! Beautiful background of a Pemberleyish mansion at "midnight" and in moonlit night gives the hint of a mystery. It's further telling with the woman dressed in period clothing with a modern flashlight in her hands...a farse? Perfectly set in title w/ mixed font in gold oval topped with scroll hints at the mixture of past & present, as well. And the author's name is properly high-lighted...beneath, telling her already well-known books. This cover gives every insight into what you'd hope to find in the book! Rated: A+

Meet the Author: Ms Hale is the author of two previous novels for adults, "Austenland" and "The Actor and the Housewife." Her novels for young adults include the Newberry Award-winning bestseller "Princess Academy," the Books of Bayern series, and "Book of a Thousand Days," and she has cowritten two graphic novels for young readers, Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack, with her husband, Dean Hale. They live with their four small children near Salt Lake, Utah.

Interesting Facts from Shannon: In 2009, I began working on a screenplay of austenland with veteran screenwriter Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre). Such fun! Things progressed, and in 2011, we shot the movie in England, directed by Jerusha and starring an outstanding cast.
Keri Russell - Jane
Bret McKenzie - Martin
JJ Feild - Mr. Nobley
Jennifer Coolidge - Miss Charming
Jane Seymour - Mrs. Wattlesbrook
Georgia King - Lady Heartwright
James Callis - Colonel Andrews
Ricky Whittle - George East
Rupert Vansittart - Mr. WattlesbrookCheck out her blog at: for more information on both Austenland and Midnight in Austenland, and to see trailers and such! Many of the characters above are found in "Midnight..."

For an excerpt to read of "Midnight in Austenland" go to:

The Dame's Review :
Witty, audacious, and high-spirited, you'll find this Austen-inspired book a travelog of the greatest fun! From the first pages I knew I was in for it. I like the smart, sarcastic tone of a woman scorned and flippant about it. There's plenty of that here. It was just good for the soul!

Although not much is given away in the book's summary above, I want to say that this book reminded me of the "murder mystery parties" we used to have in the early 1990's. Are any of you that old? LOL Parties when we would have a staged plot and the dinner guests would have to figure out what the details were and "who doneit." While this isn't the breadth and width of "Midnight in Austenland," as you can tell from the summary, it is a part of the novel and adds to the fun and mystery. The setting is an escape that Charlotte chooses in England to live in an Austenish inspired vacation village. Pure fun for all, including the reader!

Ms Hale is an experienced writer without a doubt. It's not difficult to see why she's the recipient of prestigious awards. Her book moves along at a rapid pace. The plot weaves in and out of Charlotte's attempts to carry off her Austenland character, her realistic thoughts, and her ever curious mind. She isn't actively seeking a love interest, but one never knows what strange connects can be made in a crazy alter-world.

Shannon Hale has created a wonderful, slapstick of a novel that's not to be missed. I was absolutely delighted in the reading!

5 Austenish stars!



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