I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Midnight in Austenland

Some books are so delicious, you want to savor them. But they're too tasty and you just devour them.

That's how Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland--the pseudo-sequel to Austenland--was for me. I read it so fast, I'm going to have to go back and read again.

In Austenland, we are introduced to Pembrook Park, an estate in Kent, England, which offers a unique vacation package: immersion into a Regency house-party. At Pembrook Park, it's always 1816, and the female guests are schooled in whist and manners before they're sent, clothed from night-rail to corset in era-appropriate fashions, to the main house, where gentlemen callers (hunky actors) await to sweep them (chastely) off their slippers.

The heroine of Austenland--a fan of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy--revolts, but learns to love during her time at Pembrook Park. The story rings with Pride and Prejudice at every turn.

Midnight in Austenland, however, is definitely influenced by Northanger Abbey. While the setting and many secondary characters are familiar, this story offers a fresh heroine on a new adventure. Charlotte Kinder needs escape from her cheating ex-husband, and when her kids spend a month with him, she grabs hold of the opportunity to live like one of Jane Austen's characters.

What she doesn't expect is a mystery. But are the intrigues--and possibly murder--just part of the illusion of Austenland?

The novel contains a lot of heart and humor, some romance, and a bit of suspense. Now out in paperback, it might be prove a worthy escape for an Austen-fan.


Jessica Nelson said...

I know I should be an Austen fan but I've never actually read her work. However, this sounds really good! I love the cover and title. Thanks for the review!

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Jessica! This book would appeal to most fans of clean contemporary romance, although there are little bonuses for Austen fans. Isn't the cover fun?

Thanks for stopping by.

Suzie Johnson said...

Susie, I can't wait to read both books. I love the sound of this one. I wish I had more time to read. Sigh....