Series: Austenland #1
Genre: Modern JA adaptation. mystery, romance
Pages: 288 (hardcover)
Published: Jan 2012
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?
I have not read Austenland 1 so I do not know if all the characters there was in here, but anyway, it works well as a stand alone.
This one has Northanger Abbey vibes as the heroine Charlotte takes a mystery game every seriously and suddenly everything is wrong. What is fact and what is made-up. Austenland is suddenly very dark.
Who would not want to do what Charlotte does, I mean she stays for 2 weeks at a mansion pretending to be in 1816 and everyone there is playing this game too. I would love to is the answer. But Charlotte needs it after her ass of a husband left her. There are also romances for all those who join so fun fun. There are three gentleman residents, her brother (not really though), a colonel, and brooding Mr.Mallery. And what would Austenland be without a brooding man?
The mystery comes from a game the play, or is it a game? Then there is Miss Gardenside whom Charlotte recognizes and who is acting strange too. That is only the beginning as Charlotte tries to come to the bottom of this. And like Charlotte I had no idea where the little game they began started and ended.
One thing I was not that happy about though, and that was there were snippets from a year back, a couple of months back and so on. All about her failure of a marriage. I would rather just have stayed in Austenland.
A nice little mystery romance.