Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

You are more like an autumn day. Your presence makes me sure that change is coming, and it is a change I want and welcome.

Redonk Nutshell: Woman visiting Jane Austen-themed manor has a very Northanger Abbey-like experience

Charlotte Kinder decides to treat herself to a two week vacation in Austenland, a manor staffed by actors and props to live out a genuine Austen-like experience.  When things begin to go awry and Charlotte continues to see things she’s “not supposed to,” she begins to wonder if her desired Persuasion experience isn’t more akin to Northanger Abbey.

This was a great read.  I loved the premise – who wouldn’t want to go on an Austen-inspired vacation? – and the characters are fantastic.  Charlotte is expecting more of a romantic experience, but instead she’s treated to Gothic intrigue.  It’s only when things start getting real, a la endangering her life, when she realizes the villain isn’t play acting.

There’s no predicting where the plot will go, and I loved it.  The mystery and intrigue forces Charlotte out of her shell, and she grows into her own.  We get a nice HEA, though not one I ever saw coming.

Midnight in Austenland is a delicious Gothic treat with a splash on contemporary intrigue.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale, 277 pgs, 1/31/12

Rating: B

Romance: 3/5            Raunch: 0/5

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