Thursday, February 2, 2012

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

My podcast co-host and fellow book blogger, Allison, and I were having such a wonderful discussion about this book last night. She looks at books by her favorite authors as an opportunity to sit down and spend some time with the author you adore. You may not madly adore every book, but it is always fun to spend time with the author on a new adventure. I really like that way of looking at things. It’s such a lovely thought, isn’t it?

I’ll be honest, this is not my favorite Shannon Hale book (I mean, how could anything possibly beat “The Goose Girl”?!), but I had a wonderful time. I loved the first Austenland book (I have re-read it a couple times. The romance is just so cute and you guys know I’m an Austenaholic. Here’s a picture for proof.
(This photo was actually taken in the old BBC offices in North Hollywood. I used to work for them! This is from Halloween 2007.)

Midnight in Austenland” is a fun little mystery full of Regency goodness. In this book, we meet Charlotte. The top of the book is a fast paced, tongue-in-cheek introduction to Charlotte and the life she has lead. She’s a mother of two, quiet, and thought of as “nice”. Just “nice”. Her husband has left her for a woman named Justice and made her life hell. So, she decides to go on a vacation while her kids are spending time with her husband. She ends up getting to go to Pembrooke Park, an exclusive vacation destination where you completely immerse yourself in the Regency time period, including dashing gentlemen to woo you a la Mr. Darcy. Doesn’t that just sound ah-mazing? While she is there, a few mysteries pop up and she finds focus in attempting to solve them, all the while trying to sort the play from reality. Along the way, Charlotte finds a strength within herself she didn’t know she had.

This book is a ton of fun. I adore Ms. Hale’s writing. (You can listen to me geek out getting to interview her on the Authors are ROCKSTARS! podcast.) This book doesn’t have the possible crossover teen appeal that the first one did since our main character is older and a divorcee, but so what? It’s fun and it was the perfect “cheerer upper” I needed. Thanks again, Ms Hale. You rock. For those of you who have read the first one, a few of our favorite characters (and I do mean characters) are back from the first book. For those of you who haven’t, you can jump right in with this one or go get yourself both for some fun, Austen-y goodness.

I also have one copy to giveaway! If you'd like to win a finished copy of this book, just comment on this entry and answer the following - If you could have one Austen gentleman all to yourself, who would it be and why? The winner will be chosen on February 14th! Be sure to include your Twitter ID or e-mail in your comment so I can contact you.

This giveaway is open internationally, but international winners are asked to contribute towards the additional shipping costs. See my contest page for more details.

I was sent a copy of “Midnight in Austenland” to review. It hit bookshelves this week! So go get yourself a copy.


  1. I know it's expected, but Mr. Darcy :)


  2. Let the other women drool after Mr. Darcy. I will be content with Henry Tilney. Any man who loves to dance, has his killer sense of humor *AND* understands fine muslin is the man for me.


  3. I have to go with Colonel Brandon. And NO, I was not influenced AT ALL by Alan Rickman's portrayal of him in Ang Lee's film...


  4. My favourite is maybe a little unconventional, but I have to go with Captain Wentworth from PERSUASION. It's my absolute favourite Austen novel and he's my favourite Austen gent :-)


  5. @Jaime - Ooo! I am RIGHT there with you. Persuasion is my favorite. :D

    @Bridget - Hehehe. Mmm. Alan Rickman. I mean, Colonel Brandon. :) What did you think of the new Brandon?

    @LizT - Wow, you rock. I didn't expect to get Tilney!

    @jpetroroy - That's because he's a fine choice. :D Rich, handsome, and kind? Can't go wrong with that!

  6. Definetly George Knightley. I find the story between him and Emma positively awesome. He is always such a gentleman and a good friend. However in the end he is always there for Emma.
    camille (

  7. Ohsohard... but I suppose Captain Wentworth. That letter of his makes me swoon.


  8. It sounds cliche, but Darcy, of course. I could imagine us at parties together, refusing to dance and making snide comments about the other partygoers.

  9. I'm a fan of Mr. Knightley.

    thecurlyq at gmail dot com

  10. Congratulations to @jpetroroy. chose her as the winner!


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