Rating: 3 Stars
Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues – particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.
But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by the other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.
Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.
I always pick up books by Katherine Reay. I have loved her novels from the beginning. I love how she has figured out how to incorporate Austen/Regency-era novels with the present. Even if I had not received an early copy of The Austen Escape to review from NetGalley, I would absolutely have picked this up.
However, this novel seems a little bit rough. Perhaps I didn’t receive the finished version. The novel starts in chaos, which didn’t seem intentional. I had to reread it several times to figure out what was going on. It seemed very odd to start a book in the middle of a conversation at a tech company work place. I felt like I had landed in Oz and was trying to get my bearings.
And that isn’t the only part of the novel that feels like confusing. The middle part of the novel also includes a house-party type situation, which readers who love cozy-mysteries will be very familiar with. However, there is no mystery.
Again, as a reader, I was confused because there are so many characters that it is hard to keep them straight, which is also sort of a joke among the characters because they are all also using fake names derived from Austen novels, which makes it only more confusing. However, only a few of them are well developed enough for a reader to keep them straight.
Also, the book involves a trip to something like Austenland, so I was a little bit concerned that it would mimic a book that I liked a lot. However, Reay did a great job making her book different from that book, even though it involved play acting Austen characters during a very expensive vacation.
Overall, the novel was interesting enough for me to read the entire book in three days, which is no small feat. I really take a long time to read Kindle books, but this was great.
This is a book for:
- Austen lovers
- people who love a complex romance
- fans of Katherine Reay
It’s definitely not a book for everyone, but don’t let that dissuade you, if it is up you aisle.
If you do want to pick it up, look for it on November 7, 2017!
***I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
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