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Austenland by Shannon Hale
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Dec 23, 08

Reading this book felt like watching a fluffy romantic comedy based on a Jane Austen novel. Which I think is what Hale was going for. And I'd give myself over to the schmaltz ...

....if the premise of the main character's vacation spot wasn't so disturbing. Imagine a place where grown people who like to fantasize about other times and places can go to indulge themselves in an immersion experience. Sounds okay, till you learn that part of the experience includes actors hired to woo the guests. In Austen's England, you'd think this might even be safe, what with all the social restrictions on men and women, but at least here, physical amorous expressions are the norm -- even expected by many guests! Hiring people to pretend they love you... Hmmm...

That said, the setting makes for some interesting conflicts, as you and the protagonist (Jane, of course) are never quite sure what is real and what is show. Also, Jane is well aware of the ridiculousness of most of the set up, yet she can't help but wish she could stay in Austenland.

I want to like it, really I do. But mostly it's made me argue with myself in my head about it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Mary Lou I totally agree with you. My sister suggested this book because she knew I loved Austen and was very disappointed in my negative review of it. Hale's other books are so much better.

message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Not even worthy of a snowed-in read? ha ha!

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