I don’t know if you’re aware, but there are a lot of people who love Jane Austen’s books. There are dozens of movie adaptations, there have been sequels written and modern-day adaptations. There is even a subgenre of Austen-inspired modern-day novels. That is where Austenland falls, it’s a Jane Austen-inspired modern-day novel about a woman obsessed with Pride and Prejudice. After I saw the movie talked about on a favorite costuming blog, I knew this had to be my book and a movie pick last summer.
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In Austenland, Jane Hayes, a very Austen name, is in love with Mr. Darcy and none of the real-life men she dates lives up to her dream of Mr. Darcy. This dream is challenged when her wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to Austenland, and she confronts the reality of what Regency life is really like.
I love the charm of this book, I probably binge-read it in a night, it’s well-crafted and if you like Rom-Coms it’s a great read.
I am amused there is a sequel to the book with completely new characters.
Austenland book club
I read this all by myself, but it got me thinking:
1 What is the appeal of Mr. Darcy? Why do women 200 years later still swoon at the idea of him?
2. If you could spend a week in Austenland, would you? [I love the idea of re-enacting, but I don’t love this idea, but I could see the appeal]
3. How do you feel the events in Austenland mirror the events in Austen’s books?
4. Does the ending feel satisfying to you?
And if you want a few more in detail questions (
I think these are in the back of the book, but I used the library’s copy, so I can’t doublecheck right now, yes they are).
If you’ve read this far, how about some more book and a movie nights?
- Pride and Prejudice book club (I’ll be redoing this next year with all the kids)
- 9th-grade books made into movies
- Sense and Sensibility book club
- Emma book club (oops I haven’t posted it yet)
- Get the complete list bookmarks by joining my newsletter (and get the snack labels)
Austenland movie night
I first became aware of Austenland from a Frock Flicks post. While the movie covers the plot of the book, it fails to capture the full charm of the book, and some changes they make to overly emphasize the “class differences” actually take away from the fun for me.
So, I loved the book, I was vaguely indifferent to the movie.
Of course, this is the time for all the over-the-top tea snacks, especially since the book makes such a mockery of “high tea,” and all that.
- Fancy cakes- I love these super bad for you snack cakes
- root beer, champagne, and port- respectively are: root beer (obviously), Sprite, and Coke
- carriages- we used round cookies from a cookie brand we tried and figured out were terrible
- cell phone- sugar cookies with chocolate frosting
- cucumber sandwiches- which The Artist and I demolished quite happily
- sesame biscuit- from our Malta unit
- beef roast- as I recall it was specifically mentioned in the book, as a meal, and so I made one, but the recipe I used turned out super dry and horrible, so I’m not linking to it
- scones– because YUM
- macaroons- because also yum
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and now that I’m thinking about it, I need to actually buy a copy to keep.