Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland, by Shannon Hale

This one is a really fun light read.  I'm not a big fan of the Jane Austen spin-off industry, but I do love Shannon Hale and her Austenland books, which features a sort of theme park where you can go and live the Regency lifestyle for a couple of weeks.  Romance guaranteed!

This is the second book and is a takeoff on Northanger Abbey (a favorite of mine).  Charlotte, age about 39, was blindsided by her husband's infidelity and desertion.  She has spent the past year or so numbing herself with work.  Now she's spending two weeks at Pembroke Park, and they're playing a Gothic mystery game--but some of the clues might be real.  Charlotte spends her time wondering what is real and what is pretend.

The book is really very funny as well as a bit scary.  I love some of the lines:

His profile was significant, as if it belonged on legal tender.  His jaw was delightful to contemplate, and his long hair pulled back beneath that top hat was just so manly.

Really?  her Inner Thoughts said.  Are you sure ponytail plus top hat equals manly?

You tell me, Charlotte challenged.

Her Inner Thoughts shut up after that, probably too distracted by Mr. Mallery's manliness to taunt her anymore.

Plus, there is a bonus tell-off of the ex-husband at the end that will warm the heart of anyone who has ever been frustrated to watch an acquaintance neglect the kids after a divorce.

I do believe I can count this as my Mixing It Up romance!  That was the one I was really stumped about.  Yay!


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