Book Review: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Title: Midnight in Austenland
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: Austenland was a stand alone, this is a follow-up novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: January 31, 2012
Website: http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html


Book Summary:

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests’ Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn’t sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside’s mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte’s heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen’s world. How could it not turn out right in the end?

I’m a huge Shannon Hale fan.
I love Jane Austen.
Cross the two and inevitably you will come up with something I will love.

I got a kick out of reading Austenland and am looking forward to the upcoming movie. Austenland was a stand alone book so I was both surprised and excited when I heard there was a sequel coming out.

Shannon Hale entertains me. Her books draw me in and make me laugh. There is no denying I had high expectations for this book. In all honestly, through the first half of this book I was a little disappointed. I wasn’t relating to the characters, I wasn’t falling for the love interest, I wasn’t laughing… But this was Shannon Hale so there was no way I was going to put the book down so I kept reading. It took me until nearly the half way point of this book to really start loving it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book but my expectations were really high. By the half way point I finally started laughing and relating to the characters and falling for the love interest. I’m not sure why there was a delay for me, but I’m glad I stuck with it because it was worth it.

Midnight in Austenland is based upon Austen’s Northanger Abbey which is not one of my favorite Austen novels. Like the book it’s based on, Midnight in Austenland is a little more mystery and wild run away imaginings than some of Austen’s other book. Not a bad thing but I would obviously prefer more swooning Mr. Darcy moments instead of over-active imagination ramblings.

Midnight in Austenland is a fun, lighthearted read that fans of Austen & Hale should definitely read!

Content: Clean Read for an adult (may have had a mild swear word or two)

Rating: 4 Stars – Great Read

Source: ARC from publisher

Also by Shannon Hale – I’ve read and enjoyed them all 🙂

The ebook of Austenland is currently just $2.51

Books of Bayern

Princess Academy

Book of a Thousand Days

The Actor and the Housewife

Graphic Novels published with her husband Dean Hale