Megan's Reviews > Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
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Mar 27, 12

Read in March, 2012

Hale did a smart thing with this sequel to Austenland. In the first book, she went with a more standard chic lit heroine - the frazzled, single, overly romantic professional short on cash- and thrust her into a quirky situation. Rather than repeat herself note for note, Hale wisely uses the setting of an Austen-themed Regency re-enactment resort in a slightly different way. She retains some of the romantic tension and humor, but this time, the protagonist is a wealthy, successful businesswoman, somewhat recently divorced and the mother of two children over 10. Learning to let go and love again after betrayal and the concerns for her children let this character hit slightly different emotional notes than in the first book. Hale also creates a murder mystery for our heroine to solve. It may seem like an odd direction to take this setting from the first book, but I found it to be integrated well. I think it was a very good idea to write a sequel that goes in a whole other direction. Hale manages to hang on to the fun, romantic humor and quirky period re-enactment aspects of Austenland while also giving us a new way to explore and enjoy them. I hope she is able to use this setting again and come up with another fun idea for it!
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