Austenland: A Novel
Austenland: A Novel
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Annotation: Jane Hayes' obsession with Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice kicks into high gear when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women.
Catalog Number: #4566008
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 196 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-596-91286-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-596-91286-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2006034165
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
If you are a fanatical Austen junkie, you will definitely enjoy this audio. New York graphic artist Jane Hayes is such a person, obsessed with all things Austen. Hayes takes a vacation to Austenland, a theme park that replicates the world of her favorite author. Kellgren keeps pace with the repetitious Austen puns and endless Regency-era allusions, never allowing the text to seem cloying. The protagonist throws herself into finding her man, whether he be the gardener or the lord of the manor. Kellgren easily transitions between American and British accents. One particularly good characterization is that of the handsome gardener, whose speech patterns sound more like a British servant than upper-crust nobility. Mr. Nobley, a Darcyesque character, is all ice, his voice dripping with condensation, while his rakish friend, Colonel Andrews, is all effulgence and good humor. Kellgren makes the most of the humorous situations through her wryly ironic tones. Loads of fun for Austen fans.
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another player in the literary parlor game of re-writing Jane Austen. From the dedication to Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries, Hale, author of YA novels ( River Secrets , 2006, etc.), lets the reader know her tongue is firmly in cheek. Hale's heroine, Jane Hayes, is a single New York professional with a secret passion for Pride and Prejudice —not the novel, but the more over-the-top romantic screen versions, particularly the one starring Firth. Shortly after her Great-Aunt Carolyn discovers Jane's obsession, the old lady conveniently dies, having bequeathed to Jane a three-week stay at Pembrook Park, a fantasy version of a Regency England country estate (modern plumbing, but no cell phones allowed). Temporarily re-christened "Miss Jane Erstwhile," Jane soon finds herself plopped into the center of several Austen novels rolled together. Her fellow guests are the pathetically needy "Miss Charming" and the gentle, genuinely charming "Miss Heartwright." Knowing that the hosts and male guests are clearly actors does not keep Jane from confusing fact with fantasy. As she resists the falseness of the situation, she falls into a contemporary fling with Martin, an actor playing a gardener on the estate, with whom she watches television and makes out. She also finds herself drawn to "Mr. Nobley," a Darcy stand-in. But is it the character being played whom she's attracted to? Or the man playing him? The novel is clever in its depiction of the many ways in which romance can fall away, and Jane is no fool as she attempts to sort out the real from the make-believe. Readers will be as surprised as she is by some of the twists. But ultimately this is a romance novel in which lovers who are meant to be together overcome miscues and misunderstandings before the final clinch. Mindless froth that Austen addicts will love.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Thirty-three-year-old Jane Hayes, who has a fairly serious addiction to the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, inherits a trip to Pembrook Park, Kent, England, the location of a resort where guests dress, talk, think, and act in ways that Jane Austen would approve. Refusing to lie about her age, even on vacation in a place right out of Austen's England, Jane finds herself quickly overcoming the obsession with Mr. Darcy that may very well have jeopardized her 13 "relationships" over the years. Left to walk in last to dinner, mildly obsessed with one of the hotel's gardeners, and annoyed by another guest's overeager attempts to bag a man, Jane is eager to return to Manhattan. Then she decides to give it all one more chance, since Great-Aunt Carolyn did see fit to pay for the entire vacation. Hale does a lovely job with the tale of a single woman who would appreciate a genuine shot at love. The book is well written, quite readable, and the myriad characters, especially those working at the resort, are quirkily funny. Given the immense popularity of Jane Austen's novels among teen girls, this book definitely has cross-over appeal.-Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/07)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Wilson's Fiction Catalog
Word Count: 52,538
Reading Level: 5.6
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.6 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 129359 / grade: Upper Grades

Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Predjudice . When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

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