Okay, because I have no self-control I picked up the sequel to Austenland in the same library trip. I mean, they were just sitting there next to each other on the shelf! How could I not?
Book: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Read before: Nope
Ownership: Library hard copy
As we established in my review of Austenland, I love both Jane Austen and Shannon Hale, so my qualms about reading straight-forward romance were overcome. The sequel, Midnight in Austenland, is a very different, but no less enjoyable book. The overall tone is more Northanger Abbey than Pride and Prejudice, with spooky goings-on, a lot of wandering around at night, and a real life mystery to solve.
The plot is actually better than Austenland, I think – Charlotte has more to lose than Jane, so her growth is more entertaining to watch. I liked seeing more about the workings of Pembrook Park and the different kinds of holiday they offer – it made sense and gave the whole thing a different twist. The romance here is not swoony or Darcy-ish, but sweet and kind and sensible, which is really nice to see (if not quite as daydreamily romantic).
A carbon-copy sequel, with another woman turning up in Austenland looking for Mr Darcy, would have been quite boring to read, so I love that this was a spookier, more mysterious version which is extremely entertaining in its own right. I’d read another in the series in a heartbeat! But I think that Jane and Mr Nobley will have a slightly bigger place in my heart, so think of this as 3.75 out of 5 (except it’ll get four cats, because I’m not a cat-cutter!)