I love all of Jane Austen's books so when I looked at the reviews, I thought I would like this book too. Unfortunately I found the book and the characters quite shallow. Some parts of the book were even boring. The narrator was generally good, though some of the different character voices she did were a bit irritating.
All I can say is it took me away from my troubles and I lived this story! I loved Jane and all
her struggles to find herself and happiness. It was a pleasure to listen to from start to finish! It is definately one of my favorites!
As a teacher and scholar, I've always steered clear of fan fiction and books by modern writers who attempt to exploit Austen's books and characters, but a serious Austen scholar recommended "Austenland" and I'm really glad she did. It is great fun for anyone with a thorough knowledge and love of Austen's fiction who is also able to maintain a critical distance. As the characters have their Austenland experience, they keep shifting into different subject positions from Austen's novels. Thus we keep going back and forth between characters in "Sense and Sensibility," "Mansfield Park," "Persuasion," "Emma," and, of course, "Pride and Prejudice."
I suspect that some of the negative reviews of this book are by readers who feel themselves too closely represented and thus embarrassed by "Miss Charming," a character who is a savage, satiric send-up of an American Anglophile more addicted to Austen's romance plots than aware of the biting irony with which Austen presents them.
The story is a cute idea, with plenty of Austen references, and performed well by Katherine Kellgren. It's not a terribly deep plot, and got sort of redundant in a few places. Still, I have a long commute, and it was light and fun to listen to on the way home after a stressful day.
If you read Austen just to take a mental vacation to a place of romance and leisure, then you will love this book. The concept of having a modern day woman being able to literally (well as close as one can get) live inside an Austen novel is intriguing! Her struggles are ones that I could see having! This is a great light read!
I read the "okay" reviews and wondered if I was making a mistake. No, this won't win any nobel peace prizes, but it was exactly what I was looking for. It was light, a bit silly, and a corny happy ending. Fun.
I'm a big fan of Jane Austen-inspired books but I just could not get through this one. The narration was good, no complaints there, but the story was so unimaginative and forced. I stuck with it for over an hour and found myself rolling my eyes over and over again. It was definitely not worth the $6 I paid for it.