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The Austen Escape

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,856 ratings  ·  825 reviews
After years of following her best friend’s lead, Mary Davies finds a whimsical trip back to Austen’s Regency England paves the way towards a new future.

Mary Davies lives and works in Austin, Texas, as an industrial engineer. She has an orderly and productive life, a job and colleagues that she enjoys—particularly a certain adorable, intelligent, and hilarious consultant. B
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  3,856 ratings  ·  825 reviews

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Julie Carpenter
I previously read a book, A Portrait of Emily Price, by Katherine Reay and was completely pulled in by her writing style, the prose, the storyline, the characters. Very well done. I had also seen several friends loving her other Austen style books, so when I saw this available for review I jumped at the chance. I've been waiting for the release date to be a little closer before I read and reviewed it. Well when it hit a month away I couldn't wait any longer. I picked up my kindle and dove right ...more
Sarah Monzon
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read every single Katherine Reay book written so I know her style. When the beginning started a little slow, I just sat back and got comfortable, knowing she was setting the stage and aligning her characters in a way that was going to stretch my understanding of human emotional journeys through classic literature. The setting of an "Austen Escape" was fun (one I'd love to experience) but that was only the backdrop...this book is so much more than that. It speaks of friendship, of understa ...more
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Mary Davies is single and spends most of her time working as an electrical engineer. She has always put her career first and her love life has suffered. Her latest project has been shelved by her new boss and she finds herself questioning her life choices. While Mary is evaluating her situation, she receives a timely call from her childhood friend. Isabel asks her to join her for two weeks in England where she will be completing her dissertation on Jane Austen. With her life in disarray Mary dec ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There sure have been a lot of Austen-related in the last few years - books updating the Austen stories in a new setting and books immersing modern people into an Austenesque world (and Katherine Rey has written some of them). In some ways this does both by taking paying house guests into a regency setting, asking them to choose which they character they would most like to be from an Austen novel and then allowing them insights into Austen's novels through thinking and being in her world.

The main
Rachel McMillan
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

"When there are serious matters to discuss, Austen women walk. And it has the side benefit of keeping our figures so light and pleasing."

I have to admit I have been getting a little tired of Austen everything. So many updates. So many re-imaginings--- But, if anyone can do Austen, Reay can. Especially because she doesn't just transpose a story into a new setting, she interweaves a new story with new characters, nuances and worlds with the timeless sensibility and humour of Jane Austen. Even whil
I truly loved this story of friendship and adopted sisters and a dash of Regency flair...excellent little story.

It was really neat to me to have a lady electrician as a heroine. Her job as an electrical engineer defines who she is, and she's strong and feminine at the same time.
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
Another book to add to my top favorites of the year! At first I wondered if this book would be similar to others that have the characters dressing up and playacting in Regency form, but I needn't have worried- while there is a bit of that, it is taken to a higher level by Katherine Reay's unique writing style. This is a book that you just *feel*. While there is a great focus on the complex dynamics of the relationships Mary has with Isabel and Nathan, I loved that it delved just as deeply into h ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favorites

Really loved this new book from Katherine Reay.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Let me preface this review by saying that I wasn’t a fan of this book. However, it seems that a lot of other people really liked this, so as for any other review this is clearly my personal opinion. If you’re interested in reading this, I suggest you check out other reviews as well and make up your own mind.

Mary Davies is an industrial engineer living in Texas. Together with her estranged best friend Isabel, she travels to Bath to experience an authentic Regency vacation, an “Austen Escape”. How
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love it! This is one of my favorites reading this year! The story started a bit slow at the beginning but once the two besties arrived in Bath, the story got interesting and I was completely drawn in through the end of the book. I felt lots of emotions going on with relationships (friendships and love-ships?), which seemed to be the emphasis of the whole book. Thank goodness, everybody got their happy endings in the end! Happy endings are always good!
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
For Many Of Life’s Woes, Escaping into Jane Austen is an Infallible Cure!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Austen-Inspired Original

SETTING: Modern-day Austin, Texas and Bath, England


- Mary Davies: an industrial engineer for WATT who is introverted, processes things internally, is pragmatic, and thinks with a mathematical mind.
- Nathan Hillam: an intelligent consultant hired by WATT that has worked close with Mary this past year. Doesn’t know Mary is in love wit
Katherine Reay
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Can't believe it took me so long to get to this! I read all the others much more quickly. ;) I thoroughly enjoyed it and hold out great hopes for Mary and Isabel's future friendship... And Nate was adorable. ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love that you never know what you are going to get in a Katherine Reay book as far as storyline. But you do know that you will get good story. I loved this story. I mean, I really did. And it is not just because I am someone that loves Jane Austen. Her way of giving us story while addressing serious life issues without any type of feeling traumatized is a gift. 

For one, I would love to go on one of these excursions. It would be so much fun to be able to embrace that and experience it, but I, l
I’m always impressed by how Katherine Reay’s stories begin. One moment, I’m wondering when I’m going to start feeling the story and the characters, then the next I’m completely into everything. She has this way of bringing a character, their unique qualities, and their circumstances to life. While I have read several of Jane Austen novels, I did wonder if I would be lost in some of the details about her characters and how they connected with this story. While The Austen Escape is permeated with ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Having read all of Reay's other novels and being a Reay fan, I'm not sure why her latest has been lingering on my bookshelf. Then The Austen Escape got nominated for the INSPY Short List for General Fiction and I moved it up on my TBR.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Austen Escape. The whole idea of dressing, behaving, eating, etc. as they did back in Austen's day was fabulous. I wasn't as interested in Isabel's story as I was Mary's. However, I can see that Isabel was a necessary part of the novel. I l
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
I really enjoyed The Austen Escape, even though I didn't expect to considering I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan. I liked the characters and I didn't expect some of the things that happened in the story, so the book definitely held my attention and kept me reading.

I loved the setting and the whole character acting aspect. It made for some humorous moments. ;) The romance was okay -- I didn't particularly love or hate it.

All in all, an enjoyable read and if you've read other Reay books, I think you
I've enjoyed the author's Dear Mr. Knightley, a modern take on the old story Daddy Long Legs, with its depth of plotting, characters, and background so when I spotted The Austen Escape, I was eager to escape into another of Reay's stories.

It seems so fun and frivolous- two besties headed off to Bath, England for a couple of weeks of dressing up and pretending they're Jane Austen heroines at an old country estate. But no, this is a book about two women who have drifted apart, both having painful
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful read. The characters are well developed and likable, or (some) pitiable once you learn more about their history. I liked Mary's character. She faces tough decisions and trials throughout the book. She may not be perfect, but the way she handles each trial is a credit to her character. Her friend Isabel is one of those girls you kind of want to hate, but there's so much pain in her past that you are reminded that everyone needs kindness and love in their lives, and we all ne ...more
Amanda Tero
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The story opens with Mary, content in her job helping engineer new inventions. Trouble begins to brew at work the same time she accepts her best friend’s invitation to England for two weeks in an Austen home.

Jane Austen was literally peppered through the pages through quotes, historical facts, and references to her books and movies. It almost felt like you took an Austen Escape with the characters.

The plot with Isabelle and her trouble was very interesting and added a depth to the story and valu
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

The beginning chapters of The Austen Escape provided a steady, gentle tug into the story, but before I knew what was happening, I found myself ensnared by this beautiful, vulnerable tale of tender hope and broken friendships wrapped in a contemporary-Regency setting. I love Ms. Reay's trademark inclusion of vulnerability and insecurities in not only the lead but also the supporting cast. Honestly, I think she's one of the best at incorporating these qualities in a way that mak
Patricia Beal
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! When I finished college I swore I would never read the classics again. But seeing Austen through Katherine's eyes and the eyes of her characters changed my mind. There's more to discover now that I'm older...

The Austen Escape was such a unique experience. I think this is my new Katherine Reay favorite. Even the "slow opening" some pointed out works in the story's favor because when you escape to England the reading experience changes completely. It's elevated. The story becom
Katherine Reay has a new fan. I'm so picky about contemporaries. Ones that are too close to normal, every day life, or too focused on romance can sometimes get boring for me, or just feel like I've read them too many times. I need a twist of some kind. The twist here was that the characters spend much of the story on an escapist vacation in a mansion in Bath, England where everyone dresses in Regency costume and pretends to be Jane Austen characters for two weeks. To add to this unique setting, ...more
Sherwood Smith
I'm wary of Austen-related books, some of which read to me like cash-ins, without much awareness of what makes Austen so great. Kind of as if the book is trying to connect with the Keira Knightley P&P film, which I pretty much loathe, as it distorts the period and misses all the wit.

I saw that it was set in modern times, then contemporary people going back for an Austen experience, a la Austenland, which I was vastly disappointed with: though I love Shannon Hale's fantasy, the many errors in th
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romantic
As I read this book I was trying to figure out how did it end up on my wish list? 10 of my GR friends had added it as 'To Read', but none of them actually read it. (Hmmmm). And it was on sale for $1.99 and I'd pay $1.99 to watch ... well never mind.

You will also note I didn't add this to shelves such as Austenesque because despite some character analysis I really didn't find this to be an Austen inspired book.

This is book about an awkward young woman, who is an electrical engineer in or around
Usually I devour stories that I love this much, but there’s just something about Katherine Reay’s writing that makes me want to pause and deliciously savor every. single. word. This story was so good I think I might have changed my mind about which of her books is my favorite! But I suppose it’s to be expected considering how big a fan of Jane Austen I am, huh? ;) This story is DELIGHTFUL. And glorious! Well worth your time, my friends.

At its heart is a friendship. I am always blown away by how
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve read and enjoyed all of Katherine Reay’s books, some more than others (isn’t that always the case?). I am an Austen fan, so I was looking forward to reading The Austen Escape. But after meeting Isabel and the other characters I suspect I’m less an Austen fan than someone who has read all her books a few times. “Fan” is apparently short for “fanatic”, and these characters are fanatics. They know their Austen.

But The Austen Escape will be fun even for those readers like me who can’t find an a
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Katherine Reay has a beautiful talent for writing characters that come alive in the pages of her books. This particular genre is my favorite. In The Austen Escape you feel the vulnerability, heartaches and the self doubt Mary and Isabel face as well as the joy, wonder and excitement they experience. The story really comes together and has a satisfying ending. I love the cover. I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5 because it seemed more like a clean secular book than a Christian book and althou ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
The best way I can describe Katherine’s writing is it’s like a dessert-it has layers of diverse textures. It’s sweet, with other complimentary flavors mixed in as well.
There’s a lot of talent, hard work, and research poured into her books; that’s clear. But I did have a few personal problems with it. First off-Katherine’s style of genre IS New Adult, not YA. Books targeted to 20-30 year olds is not normally my range of interest, so I do understand that some of my negative opinions are really th
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This a wonderful book on so many levels! I always enjoy Katherine Reay's writing - her plots, prose, research, timing, twists - are so polished, and 'just my cup of tea." Weaving in Austen's characters and situations makes her books distinctive and perfectly satisfying. And the setting for this book? Book my ticket! I would LOVE to spend a fortnight in this authentic setting!

This story is the journey of two motherless friends discovering and embracing who they really are while on a research trip
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I’ve been a fan of Reay’s novels since her debut! I always look forward to what’s coming next and this did not disappoint.

Like Austen’s heroines, Reay takes Mary and Isabel on their own journeys of self discovery. Full of mistakes, misunderstandings, romance and touching moments that remind you it’s never too late to find yourself.

As a fan of Austen’s novels, I thoroughly enjoyed all the references and characters brought up throughout the novel. Reay did an excellent job of paying homage to Aust
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Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one full length non-fiction work. Her upcoming novel, THE LONDON HOUSE, will release 11/30/2021.

Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, rehabbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. She lives outside Chicago, IL.

You can meet her at www.katherinereay.c

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