Thursday, March 8, 2012

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale is the second book by Hale about the imaginary Austenland.  A place in England that Austen fans can go and spend 2 weeks in Austen's time--the clothes, the manners, the etiquette, the romance.  I liked her original Austenland, but is wasn't my absolute favorite.  I liked this one much better.  The main character is Charlotte--a divorced mother of 2 who is trying to come to grips with what happened to her fairytale life.  Why did her husband leave her?  Why didn't she see it coming?  What is she now and where does she belong?  Well, she discovered that one of her goals was to read Jane Austen, and she never has.  She checks out the books and becomes hooked.  She wants to go to England--get away from it all and see where Jane Austen wrote and lived.  Her travel agent goes a step farther and recommends Pembrook Park where Charlotte can live like Emma or Elizabeth would have for 2 weeks.  There are actors set up for each women visiting, their own version of Mr. Darcy, but things do not appear as they seem (dead bodies in the attic?), and not everything turns out as it should, maybe it turns out better.  A Jane Austen type mystery that is hard to put down. 

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