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What I'm Reading Wednesday: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Today's What I'm Reading Wednesday post features Katherine Reay's The Austen Escape.  If you're a Jane Austen-loving anglophile you will love this book!

Mary Davies is a hard-working engineer whose latest project The Golightly (techie sunglasses based on Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's) doesn't work.  The start-up she's worked for the past five years no longer has six employees, and the new CEO and cutie consultant named Nathan will probably nix the project in the very near future.  Mary's childhood friend Isabel begs Mary to accompany her to Bath, England, for a two-week Jane Austen-immersion vacation.  She relents because things at work aren't going well, and Mary's also sad that the Tall Consultant Guy (TCG) is moving on to another project.  Her friend and colleague Moira keeps telling Mary that Nathan flirts with her and is interested, but Mary just doesn't see it, so she decides to escape Austin, Texas, for Jane Austen's England.

Isabel's father is giving her this one last chance to complete her doctoral program in English literature by sending her to England.  She claims that it's important to her thesis, and he agrees to pay for both Isabel and Mary's trip in exchange for Isabel's finishing her degree.  Isabel spent a large amount of her childhood at Mary's home because she was an only child, her parents were divorced, and she was basically reared by nannies.  She even suffered a trauma as a child and recovered at Mary's house.  The PTSD returns the second day Mary and Isabel are at Braithwaite House: Isabel cannot remember who she is in the present and believes she's a character from one of Jane Austen's novels.  Isabel is upsetting many of the other guests and staff at Brathwaite House, and if Mary can't help Isabel snap out of it, she'll need to put her on a plane and return home.

I enjoyed this story, especially the dynamics of Isabel and Mary's friendship.  I also enjoyed the symbolism of the Golightly glasses because Mary has a difficult time seeing clearly until the end of the story.  The Austen references throughout are fun, but if you are unfamiliar with them, no worries!  Katherine Reay wrote a handy character log at the front of the book detailing the characters referenced in the story.  And in case you didn't know:  Jane Austen apparently didn't like women named Mary.  If you're asked to portray an Austenian character named Mary, then you should be not-very-happy about it.  But Mary Davies figures it out, asks for help, saves the day, and becomes a quirky, Austenian heroine readers will cheer for and love.  I did!  I was completely rooting for her in the end and she did not disappoint.

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

~Jane Austen

Disclosure:  I received an ARC of The Austen Escape from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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