Friday 17 February 2012

Review: Midnight in Austenland- Shannon Hale

Series: Austenland #1
Genre: Modern JA adaptation. mystery, romance
Pages: 288 (hardcover)
Published: Jan 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: NetGalley

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? 

My thoughts:
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.




  1. I've got Austenland and will try it first and then move onto this one.

  2. i have actually never read anything about jane austen before!

    stop by my review of THE OTHER LIFE? :)

  3. I haven't read anything like this before. Nice review.

  4. This sounds like a fun book. I want to read the first one.

  5. i'm so jealous that you've already read this one! i have austenland on my shelf, and i'd like to read this too.

  6. I read this one recently and it was just an ok read for me. I actually liked the first book, Austenland, much better.

  7. Yes, a brooding man is a requirement for anything Austen. :)

  8. You should read the first book! I may go back and reread it since it's been a few years but I remember liking it :)
    I liked this one as well. The flashbacks didn't bother me because they filled in Charlotte's recent family issues. I'm with you on liking the Austenland parts more :)

  9. awwww. =3 sounds like a cute little story. Great review!

  10. This sounds really cute! I will start with the first one though. Thanks Linda :)

  11. Sounds like I may get the first one before this one. I wonder how fun that would really be by pretending to be in 1816? As long as I have indoor plumbing, I think I could do it.

  12. I haven't read the first one..but they sound good.

  13. Bermuda
    Good choice, I do wonder about that one too.

    never? Oh they are the best

    It's what calls to me ;)

    I hear it's more PP, and I do love Darcy

    I saw it on NG. I knew I did not have the time but I HAD to have it

  14. Anne
    You did? Sure there were things that were a bit meh, so if the first book is better then I'd sure like to try it.

    *waves truly weakly back to Chris*
    I got 6 hours of lectures before me and I think I am getting ill :/

    Truer words have not been said, lol

    It's not that they were bad, I just liked Austenland more ;) But yes they did serve a purpose.

    I hope you have fun re-reading.

  15. Carole
    It was :)

    That's always a good idea in the end

    Lol, I am not sure they had ;) Everything had to be 1816. Still would be fun. The maid could take the pots

    It was amusing

  16. It seems my comment got eaten a week or two in Austenland - yes, please! This book - I don't know...

  17. I will be going to Austenland soon!! I have this one too!

  18. Great review! I've read the first Austenland book but never did get around to reading this one.

  19. Ana
    Poor you, and that poor comment!
    Let us go to Austenland and you can skip the book then

    Enjoy it then :D

    yes :D

    There is time

  20. Well, I think that should be fun to do for real, not sure about the book though.

  21. Aurian
    it would be so much fun!

  22. I keep saying Im going to read a JA adaptation but for some reason I never do ... it does sound fun though!

  23. You really must read one Teddyree, they are so much fun :)

  24. This is so cute. For some reason, this reminds me of the movie/game Clue. Loves it!

  25. I really need to read these books!

  26. Alexis
    They do talk about the game in the book ;)

    A must for a JA lover

  27. I'm not really into Jane Austen but I have enjoyed several of Shannon Hale's other books so I'd probably like to read this one as well.

  28. Simcha
    I'd really like to try her more fantasy ones



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