Saturday, August 25, 2007

Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge: Book Two

Well, when it rains, it pours! LOL I was worried about not having enough material to complete Lesley's Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge (ATRC). The books I was interested in were difficult to find, on hold at the library, and waiting lonesomely on my PaperBackSwap.com wish list.

However, I got three in nearly a week! LOL

The Blood of Flowers came in about 10 days ago.

A week ago, I received an email from PaperBackSwap.com that this book (which was not on my original ATRC list because it was taking FOR-EVER for me to get to the top of the waiting list) would be en route to me shortly. Wa-hoo! It should be here any day.

And, when I went to return the first book to the library, they informed me that Austenland had come in and was being held for me at the main desk!

I finished Austenland in a 24 hour period. At 194 pages, it was an easy read. Here's an excerpt from the author's site. This author apparently has been writing teen period novels (enough in number and quality to be included in a Newberry Award anthology) and this is her first "adult" level book.

This book spoke to my "former" self...y'know, my pre-Vikings, pre-hubby, pre-back-to-church, 30-something-and-still-single, English teacher self. LOL

A 30-something, never been married, New Yorker with a long list of failed relationships woman named Jane is stressed about *still* being single and is confronted by the fact that she is sabotaging each relationship because the man involved doesn't meet up to her image of Mr. Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

An elderly great-aunt over for a visit spies her secret, stashed copy of the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice and calls her out for her small self-defeating habits and basically tells her to get over it! Several months later, when the elderly aunt passes away, Jane finds herself in a lawyer's office hearing that Great Aunt has left her something in the will...

Nope, not lots of money. But, a trip to Austenland.

Austenland is like a three-week-long Renaissance faire where wealthy vacation-goers spend apparently A LOT of money to fly to England and spend three weeks completely cut off from the modern world living at a secluded period manor submersed in living in Regency era England ala Jane Austen in full costume.

So, why would Great Aunt who told her to "let it go" send her to an Austen "boot camp"?

Well, the book unfolds and explains the self-searching of Jane over that 21 days while flashing back to old boyfriends numbered one through fifteen. So, will Jane "succumb," be wooed theatrically by a Darcy-wannabe, and then go home alone to live a determined life as a spinster as Austen? Or, will she get what she *thinks* she wants and find that modern life holds better promise?

Not wanting to be a spoiler, go and find out for yourself. The ending initially seemed hokey but turned an unexpected corner and went out with fireworks! A worthwhile read!

And, go here to the comments section to find what other worthwhile reads everyone is doing for the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge.

3 comments:

Kate said...

Nice Review Beth! I will definitely add that to my TBR list (which is VERY long at the moment!!)

Jeana said...

I'm going to have to check out Paperback Swap--I've heard about them several times lately.

Lesley said...

When it rains, it pours, right? :-D Sounds like a great book!