The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

November 7th, 2017, 320 Pages, Thomas Nelson
Print, ebook, and audio
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.

My Review:

 

I don't tend to read contemporary fiction, unless its timeshift or crossover. I just don't really get on with it, and I think, in part that was the case with this book. I just don't much care for contemporary American settings.

Even the connections with Jane Austen's work did not always grab me, and the central plotline was well done but there was something about Isabel's character. She just never rang true with me: seemed more like a stereotype or a stock character, and never really fully developed. She seemed to spend the entire book just being really unpleasant and bossy, or apologetic.
Even the whole memory loss thing didn't always seem plausible: did Isabel really lose her memory or was she faking, and I mean how could she really think she was living in the nineteenth century when surrounded by modern technology. I don't know if this was the impression that the author was intending to give, but its the one I got.

The details about Jane Austen's Bath were interesting and authentic, but I think you have to have visited some of the sites, and be very familiar with her books to really understand some parts of this book. It's no bad thing, it's just that I'm not that familiar with them. Finally, there were a few mistakes, with the British characters using Americanisms like 'vacation' and 'fall', which usually jar me out of the story.

This was not a bad book by any means, or uninteresting, it just wasn't totally my cup of tea. I know many people love books by this author, and they should like this one as well.

I requested this title from Thomas Nelson via Booklook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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