Oct 14, 2013

Book Review :: Midnight in Austenland

Title : Midnight in Austenland

Series : #2 Austenland
Author : Shannon Hale
Rating : ***

Basic Plot : This story, much like the previous Austenland, is about a heroine, Charlotte, who is pretty much fed up with real life and looking for an escape. In this case she wants away from her ex-husband, his mistress turned 2nd wife, her teenage daughter, and her son. So, after an awkward run in with her daughter's boy friend, she has decided enough is enough and signs up for the Austen-esque vacation. She is lighted away to Regency England for two weeks where her days fill with polite chatting, evening attire, delicious gentlemen to cater to her fancies, and Gothic mystery. Once caught up in the fantasy, the lines of reality start to blur and Charlotte isn't sure if she finds herself enveloped in a story, or in a real life mystery. Does her life hang in the balance or is this all just part of the vacation experience?

Comments : Again, I really enjoyed this book, much as I enjoyed the original Austenland. It is simply charming to be swept up in these modern stories of Regency England. Right now it is probably one of my favorite genres to indulge in. I truly love the idea of an Austenland and wouldn't mind vacationing there myself if my husband would trail along and obey the rules. Alas, despite the goodness of the story and the plot the main character, Charlotte, is a bit too ridiculous for my taste. She is constantly running an inner dialogue, and though it is believable at times and even funny in the rare case, it is mostly unrealistic to my taste. I kept feeling the inner monologues were interruptions and wanted to get them over with so I could get back to the action. Despite the insanity of Charlotte, I still enjoyed the concept, the plot, and of course all that lives and flourishes in Austenland.

Significance : The significance of this book for me comes from an inner desire to avoid conflict and making yourself the martyr of a situation, a victim. A lot of the time I feel this way myself instead of taking charge of problems and circumstances and doing something about it. I fancy myself clever, strong, and brave. Much like Charlotte of the story, I need to start acting like it. That is my takeaway from this book really, but also that I need to go back and read more Gothic fiction from this time because I forgot how much I LOVE it!

Similar : Austenland by Shannon Hale (read), The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (read), Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson (wishlist)

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