I probably ought to start this review out with a confession- I am a huge Shannon Hale fangirl so if you're looking for an unbiased review this is not the review for you.
Here's the official Midnight in Austenland synopsis from Shannon's site-
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?Because I am a huge fan of Shannon's books I went into Midnight in Austenland with really high expectations. And in true Shannon Hale fashion my expectations were left in the dust.
I loved being back in the world of Austenland. It was so fun to see old friends and meet new characters. I hadn't realized that I wanted to know more about certain characters until I met them again in this book. I really enjoyed getting to know a few of the familiar faces a bit more. As for the new cast of characters, I was a little worried I wouldn't connect with Charlotte as well as I did with Jane in Austenland. I am single and obsessed with Mr. Darcy so it was really easy for me to understand Jane. Charlotte is a successful business woman, a mother of two and divorced. She and I don't have a lot in common. But that is the beauty of Shannon's writing- she creates characters that. even though there is very little common ground, you can understand and love.
Midnight in Austenland is classic Shannon Hale- it has a strong heroine, is laugh out loud funny, poignant, thought provoking, adventurous and has just the right amount of swoon. In addition to all of those wonderful qualities Shannon has thrown a mystery into the mix. I have to admit that this crime show junkie had a huge grin on her face when one of the characters makes a comment about being on CSI Pembrook Park. Trying to discern between fantasy and reality is already difficult at Pembrook Park, adding a puzzle to be solved made this trip to Austenland even better than the first!
Go out and buy your copy today! You won't be sorry!! When you're done reading make sure you read the deleted scenes on Shannon's site.