Jill's Reviews > Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
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's review
Mar 04, 12

really liked it

I was hoping this book didn't turn out to be a rehash of Austenland but with different characters. Thankfully, this was not the case at all; this book is really more of just a second novel set in the same place, although a few of the peripheral characters from the first book show up again. But in fact, I liked this book much more than the first! This one even has a nice twist, which is far superior to the predictability of Austenland.

Charlotte Kinder is recovering from the divorce of a deceiving, nasty husband. She has two young kids, and a successful business. She doesn’t go out much, and decides what she needs is a vacation in which she can lose herself. Thus, she chooses Pembrook Park, where guests pretend they have stepped back into 1816 into a Jane-Austen-like society, with a staff of actors and actresses to help effectuate the illusion.

It turns out that Charlotte has a real murder mystery to solve, complicated by the fact that solving a pretend mystery is part of the entertainment. And of course there is a romance, which, as in the previous book, is confusing to the protagonist because she doesn’t know if it is real or if it is all part of the acting.

Evaluation: This is a fun book, and recommended for those who like the Austen take-offs (apparently this one is supposed to echo Northanger Abbey) but weren’t entranced with Austenland. This one is better!

Rating: 3.5/5
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