By Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury Press, $24.00, 288 pages
Charlotte Kinder is craving a vacation from her complicated life. Between her ruined marriage to James, the discovery of a dreaded wrinkle and dealing with her older daughter’s teen angst, Charlotte needs some change. When she reads a pamphlet on Pembrook Park, she is drawn to the idea of country hospitality, candle-lit dances and perhaps the chance to meet a gentleman lover. Best-selling author Shannon Hale brings readers back to the enchanted world of Jane Austen in Midnight in Austenland. Fans have enjoyed Hale’s New York Times bestsellers Austenland and Princess Academy. As Charlotte’s visit to the manor house begins, she is immersed in the Austen experience. Gentlemen actors are paired with each lady to provide a hint of romance. Charlotte is given a role to play as well. Charlotte’s ‘Inner Thoughts’ provide humorous commentary as she participates in parlor games, garden walks, music lessons and games of whist. Where does role-playing end and reality begin? Can Charlotte find a new start to life? This follow-up to Austenland gives us a new heroine, spooky plot twists, and a delightful read for Austen fans.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin