Well, back to my Jane phase. On the advice of my good friend over at The Written Word, I decided to check out Austenland. Since I was trying to convince myself to start exercising again, I got the book on CD and loaded it onto my MP3 player. It did get me through one workout before I decided to just listen while I folded laundry, cleaned the kids’ rooms and just lied on my bed.
This is the story of a modern woman in her late20s who is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, who else?? She has sworn off men because she cannot find that perfect man as described in Jane Austen’s famous book. Her great-aunt confronts her on her Darcy obsession and tells her to get on with her life. Not long after this confrontation, the aunt dies and in her will bestows a vacation to Jane (the main character) to Pembrook Park, a place where you go to “live” like you’re in one of Jane Austen’s books for three weeks. Jane resists going, at first, but decides she can use this vacation to get over her Darcy obsession once and for all. At least, that’s her goal.
This is quite a silly and fun book. It was a lot of fun to listen to because of the narrator’s voice inflections, etc. But, I’m pretty sure it would be fun to read also. The book is told in first person and allows you into the thoughts of Jane as she stumbles through her Austen adventure. Her thoughts about the actors playing other guests on her vacation are rather humorous. I laughed out several times. I had a smile on my face for most of the book. At the end, I don’t want to spoil it, but Jane seems to get it together. At first, that was a little disappointing (you’ll see why if you read), but, ultimately, the story ends on a note that I was happy with.
One negative (sort of) is that throughout the book, Jane would digress to describe some of her previous disastrous relationships. While it did lend a couple of chuckles, I thought it was a little distracting and didn’t add too much to the overall story.
Nevertheless, I would recommend this book. I enjoyed the allusions to Austen’s works. But, it wasn’t the typical Austen-type book I’ve read recently. It was unique in that I didn’t get it confused with the other novels I’ve read in this genre. It had its own story to tell without borrowing quite so much from Austen.