• Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

    Date: 2012.07.07 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags: ,,,,

    Where I Got the Book: My favorite indie book store: Little Shop of Stories

    In Short: Jane Austen themed vacation, murder mystery

    Charlotte Kinder is a woman and mother barely surviving a divorce. She has locked her emotions and her heart away to keep her safe from pain. Better to be numb than to be overcome with heartache.

    When visiting her mother she comes across a note from her younger self with goals to achieve. One such goal: reading some works by Jane Austen. Austen’s books make Charlotte begin to feel again, to hope again. She decides to take a vacation to visit places like the ones in Austen’s world and ends up in a resort that specializes in creating 19th Century experiences for their guests.

    I don’t think her younger self meant for Charlotte to get caught up in not one, but two mysterious murders. One occurring centuries ago and the other happening before her eyes.

    This book is not exactly a sequel per se to Austenland. While it does have a handful of references to the first book I would say this one could stand alone or beside Austenland without any dependence on it whatsoever. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a book like that before which makes it pretty unique.

    This book was riveting. Truly. It doesn’t just deal with the present of pretending to live in the past. It’s in a constant evolving flow so that you get to know the protagonist as a child, a teen, a woman, a mother, and as a person trying to find faith again in relationships, and herself. All while learning about Charlotte you’re taken into the dance of falling in love again and kept on your toes trying to solve two different murder cases.

    Red Flags: If this book were made into a movie (which I hope some day it is), it would be given a  PG-13 rating due to a few innuendos and the presence of alcohol (apparently any use of a drug bumps a movie up automatically to PG-13). I do not remember, however, there being one bit of profanity used. To me that’s pretty major because it seems to me that people think something can’t interest adults without involving at least some expletives.


    Plot: 10/10

    Characters: 10/10

    Writing: 10/10

    Originality: 10/10

    Enjoyment: 10/10

    Overall: 50/50


    Genre: Adult Fiction, Murder Mystery, Romance

    Original Release Date: January 31, 2012

    Author’s website: http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html

    Twitter: @haleshannon

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShannonHaleBooks