Hale squanders an opportunity for frolics in Austenland!

Austenland (Austenland, #1)Austenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Okay so let’s get this straight if I start a book I nearly always finish it unless it is so awful I can’t. I am not an Austen snob and did not expect this book to be anything other than a chick lit look at Austen and a girl obsessed by the fantasy that is Colin Firth as Darcy.

This is the story of Jane who is left a stay at a Jane Austen themed resort by her Great Aunt. There she is promised life a la Austen with perhaps a chance to meet her own Darcy.

I expected Lost in Austen – humour and high jinx amid the empire line dresses and fancy balls. Instead I got a very very tedious book. I found it full of one dimensional characters and so much description about the surroundings that any plot development is nil. By half way through I literally just didn’t care about any of the characters. It was a bit confusing to be honest who everyone was and who worked at the Austen resort and who was visitors.

I didn’t like our heroine as she seemed a bit spineless and soppy and I couldn’t find enough pull in the story to make me want to come back and read it. Instead of a book fizzing with witty dialogue and passion heightened by a heroine falling in love without the ability to have great physical intimacy we get a potentially great storyline squandered.

I think I could see where Hale was going with the plot, trying to mimic the standoffish ways of Darcy through Nobley and a late blooming of romance between he and Jane but I got to 60% of the way through and I became so bored of skimming pages waiting for any kind of drama that I had to admit defeat and give up which is so very very rare for me.

I may try to come back to this in the future when I have a fresh pair of eyes for it but right now I have so many great titles awaiting me that I am not committed enough to this plot at the half way mark to continue which is disappointing.

Updated – I have just seen the trailer for the movie though and following some gentle amendments to the plot this movie looks absolutely hysterical. Sometimes books don’t translate we’ll to screen but maybe this book may prove the opposite.

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