Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Midnight in Austenland
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.
Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?
Bwahahahaha! I just felt the urge to do an evil laugh before I review this one...it just makes me smile and go all giddy. I didn't love Austenland, but this one was so much more my speed. Instead of an obsessed Coling Firth fan visiting a weird regency amusement park, it's poor Charlotte Kinder. Divorced, and trying to find a way to trust another man. I thought I'd have a hard time sympathizing with the character, but Charlotte is awesome. She is a lady who is not just a mom and a businesswoman, but a woman who is lonely and in desperate need of a Jane Austen hopeful ending. The great thing about this novel was that it wasn't just a romance, it was a mystery too. How cool is that? While Charlotte is trying her best to fall in love, she's also trying to solve a murder that no one believes happened. This was a great feel-good novel to read and giggle at and even pull your heart-strings. Full of Hale's wit and humor, you'll be satisfied you took the time to read this one. There is a few instances of language and some inuendo. Just as a warning. Uncomfortable at times for sensitive me, but really mild.
3 3/4 out of 5