Monday, January 30, 2012

Austenland by Shannon Hale


Hardcover: 208 pages 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (May 29, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN: 1596912855 (ISBN13: 9781596912854)
SeriesAustenland #1
Setting: United Kingdom
Literary awards: Book Sense pick for June (2007), 
Wall Street Journal "notable book" for summer (2007)

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. 

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

(Description from Goodreads)


Austenland is a page-turner. It is not a book I would define great, but it leaves a sweet feeling. This is one of those books you want to read when you feel down and need your mug of hot cocoa (or your cup of tea!). 

Jane Hayes is in love with the character of Mr. Darcy. She knows that her quest to find a Mr. Darcy in real life is without hope. But one day she discovered her aunt left her a paid holiday at a private resort in England, Pembrook Park, a place for her to forget about the modern world and immerse herself in Jane Austen's world. Jane is convinced that this is the only way to be free of  her obsession with Mr. Darcy and get on with her life. However life does not work out the way you expect. Sometimes it works out even better.

If you are in the mood for something light and sweet (and if you're obsessed with Mr. Darcy like Jane!), read Austenland. 


Also in the mood for a cup of tea with Mr. Darcy?

Like the man himself, this elegant, dark tea, grown in rich soil, with a bold beginning yet a smooth finish has a complexity of character that will leave you wishing to know more.

Distinctive notes of leather, chestnut and plum in this well respected Da Hong Pao Oolong. Each steeping introduces you to more of it's character. Good for 6 steepings Gong Fu style or 3 British style.


Austenland is getting made into a movie!

Austenland” is produced by Stephenie Meyer ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1," "Breaking Dawn Part 2," "The Host") through Fickle Fish Films, the production company of Meyer and Meghan Hibbett, and Moxie Pictures’ Gina Mingacci. Executive Producers are Robert Fernandez and Dan Levinson of Moxie Pictures and co-producer is Jane Hooks (“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, “Bronson”). Jared Hess("Napoleon Dynamite," "Nacho Libre," "Gentleman Broncos"), Meghan Hibbett, and author Shannon Hale are associate producers.

Jerusha Hess, co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, adapted “Austenland” for the screen with Shannon Hale.

(Description from Fickle Fish Films)

The Cast

Jane - Keri Russell (“Felicity”, “Mission Impossible II”,“Waitress”) 
Nobley - JJ Feild (“Captain America: The First Avenger)
Martin - Bret Mckenzie (the Emmy award-winning “Flight of the Conchords”)
Miss Charming - Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie”, “Legally Blonde”)
Colonel Andrews - James Callis (“Battlestar Gallactica”, “Bridget Jones’ Diary”)
Mrs. Wattlesbrook - Jane Seymour (“Wedding Crashers”)
Mr. Wattlesbrook - Rupert Vansittart (“Braveheart”)


  1. What a great review - and I am so impressed with all the information you give!! Great job! I'll be adding this to my TBR list - it sounds like it may be my 'cup of tea' (loved that pic)!

    1. Thank you, Cheles! :D The sequel, Midnight in Austenland, comes out tomorrow!!! >_< I'm super excited!

  2. I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds interesting! Nice review, Giada. :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

    1. Thank you, Sam! :D This is the only book by Shannon Hale I read, but I heard that her "Books of Bayern" series is also really good.

  3. WOW! I've never heard of this book before and I still haven't read anything by Jane Austen before (shameful, I know LOL!), but this sounds like such a sweet book! Definitely one that I'd love to pick up while curled up on the couch for a nice relaxing day! ;)

    Awesome review, Giada! :)

    1. Thank you, Mimi! :D Jane Austen has written two of my all-time favorite books: Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion.
      You have to read Pride & Prejudice and I'm sure you'll fall in love with Mr. Darcy! ;D

  4. I haven't heard of this book but gosh it sounds interesting! I haven't read any of Jane Austin's work except this "kids" version of Pride and Prejudice whivh I loved btw! I agree...Mr. Darcy is sooooooooooooo awesome :) Great review!


    Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

    1. Thank you! :D Did you watch Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth? And Lost in Austen? You're in for a treat! ;D