This is a delightfully english tale of two women who attend a weekend Jane Austen themed retreat at a beautiful country house in Hampshire. Katherine is a University lecturer in English Literature, and her speciality of Austen gets her a place at the weekend giving a talk. Having recently been betrayed by two different men, Katherine’s not looking for love, but is very interested to meet a best-selling author with whom she’s recently become pen-pals.
Then there’s Robyn, whose Austen obsession is of amateur status, but just as passionate as Katherine’s. She’s longing to go to this event for the first time, thus escaping from her mundane life and boyfriend. Jace has been there for her since they were kids, but they have nothing in common and Robyn longs for some time apart and then possibly to break up with him- until he decides he’s joining her for the weekend! At Purley Hall, the home of their host and celebrated actress Lady Pamela Harcourt, kindred spirits gather to celebrate their love of all things Austen and happen upon a few surprises.
Kooks for your Kindle?– A gathering of Janeites is a good recipe for some eccentric characters, mostly of the dotty older variety here. The men are lovingly portrayed, Lady Pamela’s younger brother Dan would have been at home in a Jilly Cooper novel with his animal loving nature. Warwick is a mysterious writer- but he’s made a grave mistake in not being upfront with Katherine before the sparks begin to fly. Jace’s surname is Collins; this should have given Robyn some clue of what to expect from him as she knows her Pride and Prejudice better than most. There’s nothing badly wrong with him, he’s just wrong for Robyn.
The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Katherine is in her thirties and a little jaded by her romantic experiences. Fortunately a little Austen can restore most women’s faith in the not-so fairer sex. Katherine’s confident, knows her own mind and is quite stubborn. Robyn is younger and hasn’t fully found herself yet, but knows she’s not satisfied with the life she’s drifted into. While she doesn’t yet know where her future lies she knows she doesn’t need rescuing. The question is does she have the courage to leave it all behind and branch out?
Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The majority of the book takes place at Purley Hall, which seems to be so vast and beautifully appointed it could have passed for Netherfield. Speaking of which, the atmosphere and focus of the tale is very Austen-centric, as are the discussions and excursions, all of which I loved, but might not appeal to non-lovers of the books. If you are a Janeite, even to a minor degree, there is much to appreciate here.
Nookie for your Nook?– There’s more action than you’d expect at this event, but nothing that would make the lady herself blush.
Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s a gentle tale, with pet chickens named after Austen characters, kindly butlers and an eccentric actress, but it’s also a modern love story (or two), with present day men and the accompanying problems. It’s not hard to foresee the romantic outcomes, but it’s an enjoyable, warm journey with much reflection on the comfort of old favourite books, the wisdom of Austen and her sadly short life. And it’s totally made me want to go and re-read all six…
Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.
Can be obtained from:
UK: Amazon for £2.99 at the moment, sometimes it seems to be on special for less.
US: Amazon for $10.09.