Author: Shannon Hale
Length: 208 pages
Where Word Nerd’s Copy came from: The Indianapolis Public Library
Plot Basics: 30-something Jane is so obsessed with the BBC Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy that her modern day love life doesn’t stand a chance to her fantasies of Austen-esque romance. When her great-aunt leaves her an inheritance, Jane discovers it’s not money, but a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an Austen “immersion experience.” So when she puts on ballgowns and learns whist, will Jane find love any easier to capture in the pretend past?
Banter Points: I saw a news article about the all the movies coming out this summer that were based on books and I hadn’t heard of this book. I’d read one of Shannon Hale’s YA books which was delightful, so I figured this would be good too. And it was entertaining.
Bummer Points: But here’s the shocker that I can’t even believe I’m going to say: I think it might be better as a movie.
The book did a good job of capturing the essence of Austen; I don’t actually like Jane Austen’s book. Shocking. But whatever. I like most of the movie versions though where all that subtlety in dialogue gets the added feature of body language and the double-layered conversations are generally so much clearer.
If you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel, you know how it will end. There’s really no other possibility.
Word Nerd Recommendation: I gave Austenland 3 stars on Goodreads, which drew a question from Stacie of “should I bother?” because I rarely read anything I’d rate below a 4. It’s such a short book, it’s fine to spend an afternoon or evening (or car trip in the backseat!) reading. Or you could wait for the movie.