Thursday, January 26

Midnight in Austenland: Book Review

by Shannon Hale
Publication Date: January 1st 2012

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?

Moment Divine:
"Attempted murder is becoming so mundane."
I really wanted to hate this book. For me the comparison between Northanger Abbey and this book was very strong.  Northanger Abbey was one of my lesser favorite books by Jane Austen.  This was mostly due to the the main character, Catherine.  She is so lost in her book world that she really believes it to be a perfect parallel of the real world.  Her emotions swing wild and heady.  So the main character in this book, who although being much older, is still wracked with very much the same problems as Catherine.  There were complete moments of cheese that just made me want to throw the book down in disgust.  Then there were moments of rather implied crude moments.  But being implied it was just a bit annoying instead of disgusting. In the end Northanger Abbey as well as its heroine were able to grab my attention and adoration, if just enough.  So likewise has this book.  The part where this story has a bit of a hole is in regards to the villain.  I just felt for a motivation he is a bit off.  But I suppose there are people who claim crazy as there motivation.  Perhaps, I would have to be crazy to understand it.  
I am really glad to have read it.  It was nice to watch as Charlotte finds her way again in life and decides to accept who she is as well as what life has dealt her.  Consider this a very light and somewhat humorous read. It won't require your absolute attention and will be a good read for when you are on the go.