Here’s the dedication of the book:
For Colin Firth
You’re a really great guy, but I’m married,
so I think we should just be friends.
Austenland by Shannon Hale If you are an Austen fan, get this book and read it right now. I mean it. I have yet to read a Shannon Hale book that I didn’t like, but this is her first for adults, as well as her first (at least that I’ve read) realistic fiction. It falls squarely into the chick lit genre, as it features a single woman in search of contentment, with or without men. Jane, our heroine, is a graphic designer and very closeted Austen fan – so bad that she hides her BBC “Pride and Prejudice” dvds behind a plant pot. A great-aunt who found the buried dvds leaves Jane with an all-expenses-paid vacation to Austenland, where female guests live in manor houses in a life straight out of an Austen novel, complete with male actors playing eligible bachelors. It seems like the vacation of her dreams, something sure to cure her of her unhealthy Mr. Darcy obsession once and for all. But when Jane arrives, she’s not so sure. The clothes feel strange and she misses her forbidden cell phone, but most of all, what can she believe in a place where everyone is pretending to be something they’re not? And even if she’s just flirting, should she concentrate on the off-limits but very friendly gardener, or brooding and Darcy-like Mr. Nobley? It’s not clear, right up to the very end. Hale is Mormon, and I was very impressed at just how sexy a book with no sex in it could be. This is real treat.