Mining the Depths

I'll read almost anything and love what captures my imagination. Best of all is responding to books in the larger cultural sense, loving or loathsome. Literature should have a place in the wider world.

 

And I'm another GoodReads refugee. 

Austenland - Shannon Hale Okay, so this wasn't a great work of "Literature", but it was so much fun! Can't remember why, exactly, I checked it out, because quite honestly I'm not a fan of most of the Jane Austen-obsessed women of many contemporary chic-lit romances, but I did just read Hale's Princess Academy which was fantastic, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that she can pull of a contemporary adult romance as well. Now, I was concerned right at the beginning when the main character says she loved all of Austen's novels except Northanger Abbey—but then again, when I think about it, that's practically a plot point (if you know Austen, and know how these romances tend to work, you may guess what point Hale's making). As for myself, I can only work up a cackling joy Murder at Mansfield Park. Must. Have.Anyway.Jane (the character) is great fun: warm and friendly, semi-aware of her issues but just not quite able to overcome her obsession with fantasy Darcy/Firth. She even got me laughing aloud several times, and finished it in one night. Even if you don't much like romances, I think you can read this: just pay attention to all the clever parallels Hale pulls over to Austen's own work. A great homage.

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