Austenland by Shannon Hale
When this book was recommended to me, I brushed it aside. I just knew it was going to be riddled with cheese and predictability. I’m happy to say I was quite wrong.
All her life, Jane has wanted the romance that Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy had in Pride and Prejudice. Or, probably more accurately, she wanted her own Colin Firth version of the infamous Mr. Darcy. So when her great-aunt Carolyn dies and leaves her a three-week vacation to an exclusive regency themed getaway in England, what’s a girl to do but go and hopefully get this Darcy notion out of her head once and for all.
This book was a breath of fresh air. It was light and romantic and so funny. I caught myself chuckling out loud more than once. The chapters swap between days in Austenland and glimpses into Jane’s past relationships. The boyfriends are in numerical order from middle school all the way to present day Jane (early thirties). Seeing the progression of Jane’s love life made me appreciate and understand Jane all the more. She wasn’t this spinster who was too picky to settle. She was a woman with a romantic notion of who she wanted and she absolutely did not want to let it go. Any woman who is a fan of Pride and Prejudice will find Jane utterly relatable and endearing.
There was a level of cheese and predictability, but how can you not have a little cheese when you’re living in Austenland? It was kind of the point.
I recommend Darcy lovers everywhere read this book and enjoy it with a pint of dulce de leche ice cream.