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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
I am always fascinated by Jane Austen related books so I had to give this one a try. The idea is an intriguing one. Jane Hayes is obsessed with all things Austen. Her great aunt feels she will never find happiness unless she gets over her obsession and stops comparing every man she meets with Mr Darcy. When she dies she leaves Jane an all expenses paid trip to England...
Published on 9 Dec 2010 by Damaskcat

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but average execution
Jane is willed a holiday in Austenland by her great aunt who observes her obsession with Pride and Prejudice and her lack of successful relationships - Austenland where you can live out your favourite Jane Austen book fantasy in costume, manners, outings and men. At first Jane is ambivalent about immersing herself in the fantasy and tries to find something real to cling...
Published 14 months ago by Bron


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!, 9 Dec 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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I am always fascinated by Jane Austen related books so I had to give this one a try. The idea is an intriguing one. Jane Hayes is obsessed with all things Austen. Her great aunt feels she will never find happiness unless she gets over her obsession and stops comparing every man she meets with Mr Darcy. When she dies she leaves Jane an all expenses paid trip to England to spend three weeks in a country house living like Jane Austen's heroines did to try and rid her of her obsession.

Jane is renamed Jane Erstwhile and finds herself amongst a group of people - some of whom are actors and some are, like her, on holiday. She is kitted out with appropriate clothes and given a whole sheaf of instructions about how to behave. At first Jane finds it all a bit difficult and considers giving up and going home. But then she finds herself sinking into the whole experience. I thought the tension between the real people and the fantasy was very well done. I did enjoy the book and like Jane I found myself confused between whether people were acting in character or being themselves. I loved the idea of `Austenland' and wonder whether there really are such experiences available.

Overall this is an intriguing book and I liked the characters - especially trying to work out whether people were acting in character or being themselves. The dialogue was realistic and could have come from an historical novel set in the early 19th century. I found the emotions Jane experienced convincing and I loved the ending - it's absolutely perfect. Yes there are minor inaccuracies but they didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austenland, 25 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Austenland (Paperback)
I was a little hesitant about buying this book, as some of the reviews are not good at all. Eventually, I decided to give it a shot, and it was money well spent. The right mix of silliness and feel-good, with the true passion for Austen that makes it feel inspired. For all the Mr Darcy lovers out there...and all those who'd like a light but good summer read.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but average execution, 2 Feb 2013
This review is from: Austenland (Hardcover)
Jane is willed a holiday in Austenland by her great aunt who observes her obsession with Pride and Prejudice and her lack of successful relationships - Austenland where you can live out your favourite Jane Austen book fantasy in costume, manners, outings and men. At first Jane is ambivalent about immersing herself in the fantasy and tries to find something real to cling on to but she then decides to live the fantasy to its fullest in an effort to say goodbye to her desire for a Darcy ideal man.

The idea of the book is good but the plot is thin and there is not enough character development. The romantic ending is predictable but still surprising because the attraction between the characters is not shown with sufficient strength.

There are a few glaring mistakes such as the character who says he is from Sheffield and therefore obviously supports Man U!

A sweet book, but the idea could have been built into a better and more satisfying result.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAVORITE BOOK ALERT!, 6 Nov 2011
I have only just moments ago finished Austenland and I am still in its lovely bubble. I feel euphoric actually. Like I have taken a drug and don't ever want to stop. Shannon Hale is a master writer. Not to mention she is hilarious. Bravo to her. I don't know how she did it? How did she make me feel like I was seconds from getting my first kiss. You remember the feeling? You're feeling lightheaded, butterflies are going rampant in your stomach, and your breath is quickening. Yet, you are holding it for fear the moment will pass without you having that special kiss you long for? I remember that feeling, and it is in full glory throughout this book. I think I felt breathless for more than half of the book. I think this is the feeling, the reason, we women are addicted to all things Jane Austen. No need for smutty details in books, the light touch of his hand on the small of her back was enough to get me going!

I can not adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. I was fully engrossed in every page, and I think I'm going to have to have me a Jane Austen movie fest with the baby today. I'm in love with Mr. Nobely as much as I am in love with Mr.Darcy, and that is hard to do!

The dedication to the books read: "For Colin Firth: You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends." Isn't that hilarious!! Ha! My sister Amy said her dedication would read like this: "For Colin Firth, I'm already married, but I'd give it all up for you! Call me!"

Austenland is currently being made into a movie starring Kerri Russel and JJ Fields. Produced and financed by Stephenie Meyer. LOVE! I can't wait to see it!

Quote:
"What are you doing?"
"Ya!" said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly.
It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin's window.
"Um, did I just say, 'Ya'?"
"You just said 'Ya,'" he confirmed. "If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me.
I, uh..." She stopped to laugh. "I wasn't aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun read, 3 Feb 2012
By 
Sarah Lambert "Book addict" (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
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As a big Austen fan I was excited to read this book, I love the idea of Austenland where you can pretend to be a character in one of the books. I liked Jane, with her Mr Darcy obsession, and determination to get over it and concentrate on real life. She is bequeathed a holiday at Austenland by her great aunt and sets off to England to see if it will help her move on from Mr Darcy. She finds a strange mixture of people, some fellow tourists and others actors playing their prescribed parts. As she struggles to adapt to the way of life she begins to develop friendships, but are they real friends or just acting? This is a great, light-hearted read and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of both Austen and chic-lit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 19 Aug 2013
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This was a must buy as I love books about Jane's world. However this I found hard going. Nowhere near as good as Victoria Connelly's books in a similar vein. Shame really as I looked forward to reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for Austen fans...., 2 May 2013
....or many others - this is the first book I have regretted buying for a long time but it was really quite dreadful. That said, I did manage to finish it just to find out what happened to the foolish "heroine". Is this what Americams think we do in England? Just to clarify - we don't!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Austenland, 30 April 2013
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E. Tyas - See all my reviews
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Ridiculous. Seriously - even if you are one of Jane Austen's greatest fans - don't waste your time or money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 April 2013
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The idea of being given a holiday where one is able to go back to the time of Jane Austen (but with the luxuries of things like a toilet and shower)and live as she would have done would seem to be excellent. However, the lack of proper entertainment and structure to the holiday made the whole story very lack-lustre, and it wasn't until I got to the last part where she left and was on her way home that there was anything of a spark. I found it a real effort to continue to read, and I was bored stiff. I really can't recommend it at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for Austen fans, 17 April 2012
By 
Mrs. S. B. Graham (Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Austenland (Paperback)
Perfect book for taking on holiday or late night read. Shannon Hale knows her Austen well and the book is well worth reading for a light hearted and fun delve into Austen fantasy land!
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Austenland: A Novel (Austenland 1)
Austenland: A Novel (Austenland 1) by Shannon Hale (Paperback - 28 Mar 2013)
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