Author: Shannon Hale
Publish date: January 2012
"When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.
Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love? " (Goodreads)
So it appears that I've been on a Shannon Hale kick lately (see my review of The Goose Girl here). No worries: this is a good thing! I read Austenland a while ago and found it to be refreshingly fun and different. Midnight in Austenland was also fun, but quite different from Austenland.
One thing that Midnight had that Austenland didn't was a mystery added to the plot. The mystery aspect of it makes Midnight a lot darker than its predecessor and I'm not sure that I enjoyed it as much. I went into this one thinking it would be another Austenland, I guess, and while it was, it was so much different that I think I liked Austenland better. That said, I enjoyed the actual plot and most of the characters.
Another reason that I didn't like Midnight in Austenland as much is because I couldn't sympathize with or relate to the main character. Yes, she is a mom and middle aged, that's all fine and dandy and not a problem, but she was also the creator of a million dollar company. My ability to relate AT ALL just flew out the window. How many of us create million dollar companies? I couldn't get that fact out of my mind for the book and it really affected my enjoyment of it.
Have you read Midnight in Austenland? Thoughts?