Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to live in it? Austenland is the chance for the contemporary woman to experience living in the regency period like in a Jane Austen novel. The first novel and movie are a lot of fun, but this second novel takes things to another level by introducing a murder mystery.
Charlotte Kinder has built up a successful business and has two lovely children. Her world comes crashing down when her husband leaves her for another woman. She decides a break is needed and heads to England for a stay at Pembroke Park, a Jane Austen-themed retreat. While trying to solve a fun party mystery, Charlotte stumbles across a real murder mystery. Who was killed and why?
I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery. I was surprised by the mystery as I thought this book was making fun of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey and her ability to think everything is a Gothic mystery when it was indeed not. Charlotte is a bit like Catherine at first, but it does turn out to be a real mystery. I liked seeing favorites like Miss Charming reappear and get a real happy ending for herself. I enjoyed that we got Charlotte’s backstory in flashbacks at the end of each chapter. Charlotte has a mid-life coming of age story where she has to figure out for herself what she wanted moving forward. I wasn’t feeling the romance as much as I should have in this one, but I did enjoy the story.
Midnight in Austenland was one of the March selections for the JASNA Northwoods Book Club. It was agreed that it was a fun, lighthearted book.
Book Source: Purchased from Amazon.com