Friday, July 13, 2007

Pg. 69: Shannon Hale's "Austenland"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Shannon Hale's Austenland.

About the book, from the author's website:
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?
Among the praise for Austenland:
"the best Austen tribute since Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club .... chick lit with soul..., there’s a laugh on nearly every page — Hale, like Austen, is adept at subtly skewering the ridiculous..."

"...Austen addicts will love."

"Endlessly charming..., intriguing setup and abundant wit."
Publishers Weekly

"A clever confection for fans of contemporary Austen knockoffs."

"cheeky irreverence ... the Janes of today are as likely as the Darcys to shy from commitment."
—Ella Taylor, LA Times Book Review
Shannon Hale is the author of five award-winning young adult novels, including the bestselling Newbery Honor book Princess Academy. Austenland is her first book for adults.

Read more about Austenland -- including an excerpt -- at Hale's website.

The Page 69 Test: Austenland.

--Marshal Zeringue