A Novel

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Because her obsession with Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice," is ruining her love life, Jane Hayes is delighted when she gets the chance to take a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women.

McMillan Palgrave
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation ofPride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen--or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

& Taylor

Because her obsession with Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life, Jane Hayes is delighted when she gets the chance to take a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, where she hopes to meet a perfect Regency-era gentleman of her own. By the author of Princess Academy.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781596912854
Branch Call Number: FIC Hale S
Characteristics: 197 p. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

A trip of a lifetime allows Jane Hayes to live out her obsession with Jane Austen. Will she leave with a Mr. Darcy of her own?

From the critics

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Sep 26, 2019

Disappointing chick lit.

sarahbru17 Jul 23, 2017

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Great for the Austen-lover (and the movie is fun too!).

Jul 18, 2017

A light and funny read, much better than the movie. The movie was very odd and left me extremely weirded out. But that was not the case with this novel. It was a nice quick read that I read in one afternoon and still, I enjoyed it. I would recommend it, not whole heartedly, to any Janeite out there. I was never a fan and never will be, of the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth so the references towards it were not enjoyed as I'm guessing they should have been. But all in all, it was a good book; not above that and not below that.

Jun 28, 2017

This was better than expected. I was pleasantly surprised because the movie version of this book was SO bad...There are no words to express how bad.

Manateestarz Jun 27, 2016

I was intrigued by the premise and I have a friend who loves Jane Austen. I wanted to be able to discuss Jane Austen's influence in popular culture so I read this. I don't usually read romance novels, but I was intrigued enough to give this one a try.
The main character Jane was well crafted, but the writer missed an opportunity with this book. She did not carry the premise all the way. I would have liked more of a "fish out of water" story with descriptions of Regency customs, wardrobe and language and the difficulty of a modern girl in adjusting to them. I would have liked more of anthropological view. Also, I would have appreciated a more in depth look at the conflicts between the actor playing an engagement scene and the real feelings of the participants .
I do admit that the author knows how to write romantic scenes about saying good bye.
Enjoyable, but definitely the kind of book that you skim instead of read intently

FindingJane May 19, 2016

The Austen book to end all Austen books! If you’ve ever watched obsessively that 1995 BBC series with Colin Firth in the wet shirt, then you know what I’m talking about, ladies. Austen is supposed to epitomize romance for a very select group of people and this book is about what happens when ladies get together to celebrate all that is Regency England as laid out by that witty, acerbic lady writer.

Jane’s romantic getaway is meant to be both a tonic and a last hurrah. The inner dialogue sizzles as she tries wrestling with supposedly amorous “suitors” and her own yawing emotions. This is a woman on the cusp, one who thinks she’s done with men but isn’t sure. She needs to get over her Darcy fixation because who could ever measure up to such storied perfection? But it doesn’t hurt to linger in the make-believe because that’s what this place is meant to be…right?

The book is funny, uncomfortable, a little bit unhappy. But that’s all to the good—it takes us on Jane’s inner journey from manic fandom to settled and calm womanhood. Like the girl Sarah in “Labyrinth”, Jane clings a little too hard and too long to her silly fantasies. But the author manages to engage our sympathies for her. I never felt impatient or infuriated with Jane’s sporadic inability to let go of her playacting or false expectations because she tried so hard to overcome them.

For those who adore Austen or despise her, this book is brilliant comic relief. It’s undeniably chick-lit but it’s about the ultimate chick-lit writer. So who can complain about that?

Aug 11, 2015

Three weeks in Austenland, a role-playing vacation destination is just what Jane needs, she thinks, to rid herself of the male ideal (like Mr. Darcy in P&P). Maybe that's what's been keeping her from finding her "one". Once there though, she's by turns uncomfortable with the unreality of it and really into the role-playing. The "gentlemen" are paid actors. She hooks up with the "gardener" and the Darcy-ish Mr. Nobley woos her but is anything real? Does either of these men actually love her? Does she want them to? Each chapter begins with a short blurb about a past boyfriend and a sorry lot they are. It seems she has been duped or dumped in every possible way. Skip the movie, but I thought the novel was fun.

Chapel_Hill_MollyL Apr 12, 2015

I really wanted to like this book more! Shannon Hale writes wonderful, strong female characters for girls (see The Princess Academy or The Princess in Black). This needed more editing perhaps...and a stronger story overall.

Jan 21, 2015

it is a great novel I have read it so many times I lost count, I picked it of the shelf to read in English periods silent reading I really did not have any intention of actually reading but I just could not help it and then I watched the movie and I fell in love with Mr. Nobely. this book also inspired me to read Jane Austen's collection. I have a long way to go till I am done but I also have a lot of time

May 28, 2014

This novel is great to take on vacation as it is not overly taxing on the reader nor does it demand your full attention. I enjoyed the idea of a vacation resort based on Jane Austen's fictional world, and was pleasantly surprised by the details of Hales portrayal of such a place. However it did not keep turning pages when something more interesting came along on holidays.

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sarahbru17 Jul 23, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 21, 2015

unim thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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crystal_dark Nov 05, 2011

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little”

crystal_dark Nov 05, 2011

“What are you doing?"
"Ya!" said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly.
It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin's window.
"Um, did I just say, 'Ya'?"
"You just said 'Ya,'" he confirmed. "If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me.
I, uh..." She stopped to laugh. "I wasn't aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.”


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