You know the times when you watch a movie based on a book and think, I have got to read that book. We all know books are almost always better than the movie version. Austenland was one of those movies for me. A friend of mine knows Shannon Hale, the author of Austenland. When she found out that a movie was being made she told me I had to watch it. My friend must know I am an Austen aficionado.
The basic plot is that Jane (how very Austen that sounds!) is a single woman about to be on the wrong side of 30. She can’t seem to find the right guy. Since she is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, especially the Colin Firth version, no one can ever live up to her ideal. Lonely and somewhat desperate she ends up going to a Austen themed retreat for two weeks to live like she was in an Austen book.
For two weeks she lives as Miss Erstwhile in a country manor where she falls for one of the gardeners. (How very un-Austen like!) But there is an actor, Mr. Nobbley, there who very strongly reminds her of Mr. Darcy, and she isn’t sure whether she likes him or not. Romance was promised, but not true love. Hmm…
It’s fun to read. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, read the book first. Not because it is so much better than the movie, but because the movie is better. I was disappointed when I read the book because I like the fact that in the movie Mr. Nobbley turns out to not be an actor. He’s for real. I also liked the character Miss Charming much better in the movie. The very end of the movie is a little silly to me, but rather funny.
I did enjoy Shannon Hale’s book enough to read others that she has written. I know my 14-year-old daughter loves her young adult books. One thing I really appreciated about Shannon Hale was the fact that her book was clean; there wasn’t any bad language or inappropriate scenes. Kudos to her for having high standards.