by Shannon Hale
Fiction. 194 pp.
Jane Hayes is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice—Colin Firth's Pride and Prejudice. Which has made it rather difficult for her to fall in love. She has resigned herself to spinsterhood, when her recently departed Great-Aunt Carolyn bequeaths to her a trip to Austenland, where she will get to spend three weeks in Regency England, wooing her own Mr. Darcy.
The novel is, really, very Janite in how its plot unfolds. I'll bet you can even guess who she ends up with at the end. (Though I will confess that Hale through in some tantalizing herrings there.) That said, this is probably the most enjoyable fractured Austen that I've read.
I also find it interesting to note that I run into the same obstacle with all of Hale's books—initial accessibility. Don't get me wrong. I love her writing. Love love love it. (In fact, while I was working for the Little Man, I was part of the editorial staff that tried to recruit her to write for us. But then she had to get all important-like and win that Newbery Honor award.) I find that it always takes me about a third of the book to really get into her writing flow and to actually start to like the main character. From there, though, it's all sorts of staying up until 1:30 in the morning to read.
So this is a good reading. You'll enjoy.