Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Review: Austenland

Let me start off by saying, wow. What a whirlwind read: I picked up Austenland because I have been avoiding Blindness for weeks; I started it and just couldn't get fixated enough to read it on my own. So, as Amb did too, I grabbed Austenland and away I went... 2 days ago. I finished reading this in 2 day, folks! I figured this would be one of those smutty "chick lit romances" that throws in this poor woe-is-me heroine who hasn't the foggiest idea of what to do with herself in terms of her love life and readers read as she awkwardly struggles to grow and mature as a character and then coincidentally finds love with a wonderful Darcy-esque man. *swoon*

I generally shun and abhor chick flicks/lit romances. Yuck. But, as Amb promised, I fell right into the rabbit hole on this one. I didn't have high hopes for the literary quality of the prose and I suppose that was the weakest point for me... the conversation style writing. It felt lazy and lacking a solid grasp of quality writing. However, I'm no writer and similar to my perspective on wine, if you like it, then that's good enough.

The story presents us our heroine, Jane Hayes. Similar to the target reader demographic, she is in her 30s and probably read Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and then was introduced to the impeccable BBC rendition of the same story, in 1995; and like many of Austen's modern female readers, fallen in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy a la Mr. Colin Firth.

(Note: most of you male readers might be completely confused about who this "Mr. Darrrcyyy" is and why us females swoon so much over him. It's ok, you'll never get it; it's a girl thing. We're all in love with Mr. Darcy in some way.)

Oh don't look at me like that, Mr. Darcy!

Jane is down and out on her love life and through a surprise inheritance from a great aunt, finds herself gifted a trip to Pembrooke Park--a fantasy place where the Regency era comes to life and the patrons participate in a staged farce of Regency romance and a life of leisure. The reader follows Jane's story from starting as an awkward, damaged and unsure heroine. She becomes the heroine that we all want her to be: strong, confident and comfortable with who she is and what she wants.

The book makes a great premise for a chick flick movie, and that's exactly what happened--though I have yet to watch the movie that came out earlier this year--but lacks real "meat" as a literary gem and could easily be defined as being a quick and easy read that fits the purpose of being a literary palette cleanser; a break from something heavier. It was fun and thrilling for a P&P fan like myself but it certainly doesn't make you think or react viscerally like The World According to Garp.

If you're looking for a guilty pleasure rush of excitement, girly thrills and a Mr. Darcy fantasy, then this is the perfect read for such a purpose!


  1. what's the next book? i want you to find me a good sci fi book!

    1. you want ME to find YOU a book??? you left me a pile and i still haven't gotten through em! but if you wanted to read austenland, you can... it's fast!