Austenland: A Novel

Austenland - Shannon Hale One could make a career of reading Jane Austen spin-offs, I swear. There seems to be a new one each week. I was looking for something light to quickly read and so picked up this one. The premise is fun, I suppose. Jane is so obsessed with Colin-Firth-as-Mr.-Darcy that her aunt wills her an odd gift, three weeks at an immersive Austen experience. The participants dress up in pretty gowns, there are actors playing men who conform rather closely to Austen's various heros, but luckily both make-up and flush toilets are allowed. Jane is convinced that she could use this experience to glut herself on Austen and leave Darcy behind forever. Of course, a book like this has to appeal to Austen fans, so we can't really have that, can we? I confess I though most of the way through what the ending twist was going to be and I turned out to be wrong, so I'll give Hale points for that. But I did find her writing rather awkward, and the humour a little too simplistic and repetitive. Also, I really do think my twist would have been better.