I found this book a lot of fun! Shannon Hale is really better known for her Young Adult books like Princess Academy, so I was a bit concerned that I would find Austenland childish, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The novel’s premise is neat – a 30-something single girl gets left an all expense paid vacation to “Austenland” by her wealthy Great Aunt. Why specifically her Aunt leaves this to her in her will is a bit unclear, but perhaps that Aunt spent time in Austenland herself. The “theme park”, if you could call it that, is a place where you can spend three weeks pretending that you are part of a Jane Austen novel. Dress the part, eat the food and best of all, “fall in love” with a Mr. Darcy type character. Then go back to real life.
I actually think it would make a great movie! It was light and fun and the ending, while somewhat predictable – was unexpected enough to be fun and endearing. She has a bit of a thing against Northanger Abbey which I don’t really understand. Maybe it’s time to re-read that book – it’s been a while. But I really would recommend this book to all Jane Austen and chick-lit lovers out there for a fun and entertaining easy read.