Looking for an escape from the ordinary into the extraordinary world of Jane Austen? The Austen Escape may just be the novel that you are looking for. Personally, I felt like The Austen Escape was a book written just for me and was a relaxing read during this hectic time of year. Mary Davies is an electrical engineer that enjoys her job, but seems to not have any time for any changes in her steady dependable life or anything other than her job. She has an eye on Nathan, a consultant who is working on helping the firm grow and restructure, but she can’t work up the courage to make a move.
After her best friend Isabel and her father talk with her, she decides to make a change in her life, and goes with Isabel on a trip to Bath, England to an estate and emersion into the world of Austen. While in Bath, Mary learns more about herself, her best friend, and about how she can change her “character.” Will Mary find love and will she be able to find the strength to pursue her passions and stick up for herself?
I loved the growth of the character of Mary throughout the novel. I loved her story, her love story, and the story of her friendship with Isabel. Isabel is a frenemy if there ever is one and I loved how Isabel grew throughout the story as well as the layers of her were gradually peeled back. I found myself wanting to stay at the estate. It sounded gorgeous and well run. The characters staying at the estate and also running it were interesting people in the story as well. How fun it would be to be able to pick an Austen character and inhabit the role. I would just love to visit Bath.
I also loved that Mary is an engineer. You don’t often see engineers depicted in fiction, let alone a female engineer. That Mary is a female engineer who loves Austen is just perfect to me – an engineer who loves Austen.
I also loved that Nathan just happens to have learned all about Austen and appreciates her novels from college. I think this is every woman’s dream.
My favorite quotes:
“Mary Crawford – think of Mary this way: split the bright and brilliant Elizabeth Bennet in half give all of her wisdom to Fanny Price (Mansfield Park) and all of her sparkle to Mary. Mary enters her story as she leaves it, and causes great disruption in the middle.” I loved the description of the Austen characters at the start of this novel and thought this was a perfect description of Mary.
“The world stilled. It wasn’t the first time I wondered how one voice, one presence, could quicken the air and simultaneously stop all motion.” - What a way to describe the person you have a crush on!
“She wrote with such precision that a single phrase evoked an emotional response. “ – What a impeccable way to describe Austen’s writing.
“We didn’t have enough space in our friendship for our adult selves, much less if we were stuck in a room together.” - What a great way to describe childhood friends grown up.
“We shall walk. When there are serious matters to discuss. Austen women walk. And it has the side benefit of keeping our figures so light and pleasing.” - Ha, so true!
Overall, The Austen Escape is a delightful romantic novel that will be sure to please any lover of Austen or anyone looking for a novel about friendship and relationships. A great benefit is that features a strong engineer heroine. Katherine Reay has some other very interesting looking Austen inspired fiction that I need to check out!
Book Source: Review Copy as part of the TLC Book Tour. Thanks!
For more stops on the tour, check out this link.