Anyone that has drooled over Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice will relate to this book! It was a fun, light read with enjoyable characters, written quite well. I just wish that it was longer. I read a library copy, but would very much like to have a copy of my own for my library.
This was a fun read. I found it a bit short though, only 194 pages in my copy, which is more of a young adult length, but it was still a good read. Jane is an amusing character - very forthright with her feelings and quite quick on her feet. Some of her dialogue made me laugh. The book was segmented by short paragraphs about boyfriends Jane has had in her life (13 so far), which added to the amusement and explained some of Jane's character. Because her love interests in this book were both actors (a Mr. Nobley who finds her "impertinant" and Martin Jasper, who breaks role and secretly watches basketball with her in his room), we don't see very much about their backstory, except for a bit when Jane uses her journalist friend's connections. I think that adds to the surreal feeling of - is she really doing this? Pretending? And the oddity of a whole household of people pretending to be in the Regency era for a few rich people's amusement. Jane struggles with this throughout the book, but manages to still be herself while in the ridiculous surroundings.
A complaint I see a lot from people when reading this type of book is how cliched it is - repetition of the same stories created by Austen in the modern world, or trying to continue her books in a bad fan-fiction way. I admit, if that's not your thing, you may not like this book, because this had a lot more references to the BBC adaptations than to the actual books. I'm not sure that accuracy is the point though. This is just a fun story, and I think it does point out the value or real life over fantasy. And while Jane she does meet someone who she at first considers rather Darcy-esque, we don't have an as obvious Lizzy/Darcy parallel as in other books. OK there is one, but it's not bad. It was a fresh spin and I enjoyed it.
I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and found this today while in Barnes and Noble. I read it within 2 hours because I just couldn't put it down. Would love it if a place like this really existed somewhere, especially here in America and at an affordable rate lol. Jane is a wonderful character and is down on her luck with men, and her aunt left her this 3 week vacation to "immerse" herself in Austen's times. I love how in the book she describes each of her "boyfriends" before each chapter. I can really relate to the character, and hope there will be a sequel.
Jane Hayes is the envy of every Austenphile. Her aunt offers her the chance to visit Pembrooke Park where she is thoroughly immersed in Jane Austen's world. She lives the lifestyle, meets the men, and even (dare we hope)falls in love. All in hopes of curing her Austen obsession. The book is well-written, witty, and wonderfully enchanting. It is Hale at her best and it leaves the rest of us wondering... Any chance we can go?
Pembrook Park, with its Victorian-era architecture, costumes, and mannerisms, may seem like a haven for those with lots of cash to spend and craving a departure from the modern world to live a romantic Austenian three-week getaway. For Jane Hayes, however, a thirty-something-year-old New Yorker whose obsession with Mr. Darcy has literally ruined her love life, Pembrook Park just might be her worst nightmare. The vacation was bequeathed her by a wealthy relative who figured out her unhealthy fantasties. Jane has no idea what the relative was thinking. Sticking her into a place where she will undoubtedly get her hopes up for a happy ending?
As Jane navigates the life of an early nineteenth-century British woman, she meets the acquaintances of actors and actresses who work at Pembrook, as well as some other women in her position, there to have a good time. And in spite of her determination to give up men altogether, she can't help but be interested in two: Martin, a tall and charming gardener who makes her feel real, and Mr. Nobley, a closed-off, mysterious gentleman in the household, whose arrogance she despises.
Living at Pembrook Park is a surreal experience, and yet Jane grows into her real-world self, something she couldn't do when she was living her regular old boring life. She begins to realize that it is not healthy for her to dwell on an impossibly perfect man anymore, and is determined to rid herself of that fantasy once and for all. That means rejecting Mr. Nobley's engagement proposal at the end of the three weeks, a proposal that sounds like it comes straight out of a script. Because that's what it is: an act...right? And rejecting it is the right thing to do...right?
What if Jane ends up getting everything just when she chooses to give it up?
AUSTENLAND is fantastic! It's a brand new spin on the old Austen obsession for fans of the novels and movies. Sometimes fabricated, other times completely original, AUSTENLAND was a delight for me to read.