In 2007 bestselling young adult novelist Shannon Hale ventured into adult fiction and brought us the enchanting Austenland – a trip to a fantasy vacation resort in England with a Regency theme.
The heroine Jane Hayes gets a chance to live her “secret addiction to the 1995 A&E television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and all things Darcy.” It was a Janeite favorite. Now Hale is offering readers a chance to return to Pembroke Park for a new Regency inspired adventure with deep Austen overtones and a Gothic infused mystery to solve. Wouldn’t Austen’s heroine Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey be right at home in this novel? Here is the publisher’s description:
Beloved, bestselling author Shannon Hale returns to Austenland, where bonnets are in vogue and gentlemen can dance, where one might still find real love — and real murder!
In Midnight in Austenland, Shannon Hale takes us back to Pembrook Park, the lovely English resort where women can play out their Jane Austen fantasies. But this time things take a turn for the Gothic: a little Northanger Abbey infusing our Mansfield Park.
Charlotte Kinder of Ohio is consummately nice. Maybe too nice. Her teenage kids don’t appreciate her, and she lets her jerk ex-husband walk all over her. But she’s also clever. And when she treats herself to a two-week vacation in Austenland, it turns out that she’ll need her wits about her. With everyone at Pembrook Park playing a role, it can sometimes be difficult to discern what’s what. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is the mysterious ailment from which Miss Gardenside suffers? Could the body Charlotte discovers during a parlor game be an actual corpse? And – perhaps of the most lasting import – could the stirrings in the heart of our crime-solving heroine be a sign of real-life love?
The sequel to reader favorite Austenland provides all the perfectly plotted pleasures of the first book, with a feisty new heroine and plenty of fresh twists. There’s romance, there’s humor, there’s intrigue, and at last – just as it always happens in Austen – everything turns out right in the end.
No question that this will be one of the most anticipated novels for Janeites in the New Year.
Midnight in Austenland: A Novel, by Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury USA (3 January 2012)
Hardcover (288) pages
© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose