I came to Jane Austen late in life. I actually read all of her books all in a row. I can’t say that I read all of the permutations of Austen stories but The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay sounded like a fun, escapist read. TLC Book Tours sent me a copy at no charge for my honest review.
About The Austen Escape:
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 7, 2017)
Love Jane Austen? Then you’ll adore The Austen Escape.
Falling into the past will change their futures forever.
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.
About the Author:
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at katherinereay.com.
Connect with Katherine
I have mentioned many a time that my book reading schedule is odd. I accept books for review and they go in my calendar and then I forget about them. I often have books back to back that are similar in topic or location and it amazes me since I could have scheduled them a month apart. The Austen Escape landed in the midst of some darker books so it was perfectly timed. I love when things work out that way.
Mary is an engineer in a not so start up company that is experiencing some growing pains. Her pet project is not popular with the new CEO and truth be told neither is she. Mary is fond of the consultant helping the owner of the company who is trying to transition to a new way of working. While all of this is going on at work Mary receives an exciting offer from her best friend from high school – a fully paid vacation at an estate in Bath, England, where the girls can immerse themselves in an Austen experience.
Why Austen? Well, her friend is an Austen expert and her deceased mother loved all of the books. Mary used to read them aloud to her as she was dying. So the memories for her are mixed. Her friend, Isabel was warmly welcomed into Mary’s family when her own practically abandoned her to the point that she considered Mary’s parents her own. This did lead to some jealousy between the girls.
The vacation offer though, comes at a great time for Mary as she needs to get away and think about what is happening in her life. But the trip does not turn out exactly as either girl thinks it will. Mary learns more about herself and Isabel than she might have wanted to.
I plowed through this book in an afternoon. It was – despite some unhappy moments – a quick, light and perfect read for sitting by the fire with a cup of tea. It is a romantic novel so boy and girl have to meet and then have their miscommunication or their wouldn’t be the push and pull that makes these types of books so much fun. And no, I’m not going to go in to who, what, why, when or where but just know the story is fun, the characters are sweet, the ending is resolved and you don’t have to overthink any of it.