Austenland. Finished 9-14-18, rating 3.5/5, fiction, 197 pages, pub. 2007
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own? from Goodreads
Jane’s obsession with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy is a secret shame of hers but I can’t imagine why. Everyone knows that Colin Firth will forever melt the hearts of all women (and some men) who have seen the BBC miniseries. For some reason Jane tries to hide her fangirl crush but her astute aunt wills her a trip to an English estate that caters to the Austen crazies among us who are wealthy enough to play lady to Austen’s heroes. Jane immerses herself in the experience, but knows, or thinks she knows, that it’s all a game and when her two weeks are up she must go back to New York City without her Darcy.
I thought this was light and fun, but having seen the movie first this lacked a little of the spark that the cast provided it. All it really did was make me want to track down the movie and watch it again! That being said, I’d be interested in giving the sequel a shot, if only for my love of the movie.