Absolutely loved this book! (I really enjoyed the first book "Austenland" and can't wait for the movie to come out.) "Midnight in Austenland" took me by surprise and I think I loved it even more than book one, which I didn't think was possible. This wasn't a real sequel, it was different main characters but the setting was the same place. I was expecting more of the same kind of story from book one but it had twists and turns that I never saw coming. Charlotte our heroin is a discarded wife and sometimes you want to slap her because she is like a front-door mat letting everyone walk all over her, especially her slimy cheating x-husband.
Charlotte becomes a big fan of Jane Austen and loves all her books. So spending two weeks in England in the Jane Austen world is just the break she needs from her x-husband and this way her two children can spend time with their dad and new step mom.
The experience at Austenland is completely authentic to 1816. Charlotte is there with two other ladies who are on vacation too and the three gentlemen there will woo them and at the end of the vacation a ball will take place and everyone is sure to get a happy ending with a proposal. Of course all of this experience is playacting but sometimes acting can become terrifyingly real.
Charlotte has an active imagination and on a dark and stormy night during a game of "bloody murder” she is sure that she touches and see's the hand of a dead body.
Even though the story becomes a murder mystery the author is genius in her writing and there were so many things that made me laugh out loud. The “Internal Thought” is the comic release. There are so many lines that are my favorite. For instance, "It's a universal truth that nothing spoils a postlunch game of croquet like suspecting the other players of murder."
The writing was original and painted a picture with words; like, "She seemed to be floating all over the place. Someone could tie a string to her and sell her at carnivals."
Another good line, "Truth is a sword, and though it be good, it cuts."
Jane Austen lovers you will be thrilled with this modern day reenactment resort. You get the “Pride and Prejudice” brooding Mr.Mallery (like Mr. Darcy) and Edmund Grey (like Bingley). Charlotte becomes like Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey” as she sneaks around the place trying to solve a murder. And you get a little “Emma” too as Charlotte is a nice girl helping everyone to a fault.
Shannon Hale does it again with another witty tale and is a heroin in her own right.