This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
After numerous failed relationships, Jane Hayes has sworn off men. None of the men in her life have ever lived up to her fantasies of Mr Darcy so Jane decides to stick to watching her Pride and Prejudice DVD instead. After discovering her obsession with Mr Darcy, Jane’s great-aunt arranges a trip for her to Pembroke Park, where guests role play, living the lives and romances of the Regency period. Jane is sceptical but she goes along with the plan to try to get Mr Darcy out of her system. Jane is asked to give up her modern possessions in exchange for gowns and day dresses. Jane still isn’t convinced she has it in her to act the part, but she’s signed up for three weeks and so plunges herself into Austen’s world.
Austenland is quite tongue-in-cheek about the whole role play idea. While those around Jane are fully immersed in their characters, Jane feels foolish and can never really relax in her role of Miss Erstwhile and finds herself breaking the strict rules.
To provide the obligatory romance, Jane and the other guests are joined by Colonel Andrews, who is both charming and amusing, and the dark, brooding Mr Nobley. And then there is the tall, handsome gardener who should be off limits. Most of the people staying at Pembroke Park are actors, but there are two other guests alongside Jane – Miss Charming and Miss Heartwright. Miss Charming was my favourite character in the book, trying her best to fulfil her role of a young lady on the lookout for a suitor while clearly being desperate for any kind of romance to happen during her stay.
At just under 200 pages, Austenland is a quick, fun read but there is a lot packed in, including Jane’s three week stay at Pembroke Park and a run down of her disastrous love life to date and what brought on her obsession with Mr Darcy.