Yes, it's fluffy.
No, it's not my usual read, and just FYI - it's not YA. But many YA girls will find Shannon Hale's innocently fluffy Austenland completely appealing.
Thirtysomething Jane Hayes is single and kind of sick of it -- mainly because she sabotages her relationships herself, by assigning too much meaning to the slightest things, so desperate is she to find meaning and connection. That's typical enough in the Chick-Lit realm, but Jane Hayes has another thing that's a golden plot ticket in Chick Lit -- a benefactor. In this case, a benefactress, her Great-Aunt Carolyn, who dies and leaves her the chance to go to Austenland -- and to get the regrettably fictional Fitzwilliam Darcy out of her system once and for all.
Austenland is an English resort set up in the Regency style, which includes the requisite snobbery about class and manners. The proprietress knows that Jane has inherited her vacation, and looks down on her for it. Jane is kitted out in ridiculous Regency attire, amused and chagrined, and having a hard time taking it all seriously... until she does.
I won't give you any spoilers -- this is Chick Lit after all, and the Happily Ever After is quite built in. But there are a few twists and things to make you smile. Shannon Hale is a good writer, and I certainly prefer her YA lit, but with the plethora of Jane-books coming out this summer, was is a worthy enough candidate for an afternoon at the beach, or to read on the bus.
Aw, it's such a sweet, fun read. I totally loved it.
Me too -- despite myself!!
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