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The Austen Escape Paperback – November 7, 2017
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'Reay's exquisite phrasing will resonate with readers and provide much fodder for pondering. . .this is a beautifully written novel and one to be savored and enjoyed.' (RT Book Reviews, 4 stars)
'Reay handles. . .scenes with tenderness and a light touch, allowing the drama to come as much from internal conflict as external, rom-comand ndash;type misunderstandings. . .Thoughtful escapism.' (Kirkus)
'Unlike many books written in homage to Austen, this is not a modern retelling of any of her stories, but rather a romp among contemporary Austen fanatics. Readers eager for anything Austen-related will enjoy this clean romance that explores the concept of escapism and what it may reveal about our real lives.' (Publishers Weekly)
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 Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay
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Regardless, this is a story that I will re-read several times.
Enter her childhood friend, Isabel. Wealthy and gorgeous, Isabel is finishing her doctoral thesis on Jane Austen ... and she's offering Mary a chance to do an immersive experience in Bath, all expenses paid. Mary turns it down flat; she just can't imagine that it would be any fun. Then, Isabel gets Mary's inventor father to help wheedle her into going along.
Just when Mary thinks the trip might be okay, something strange happens to Isabel. She wakes up after not feeling well, and really believes she's in Regency England. Her entire personality changes from the haughty demeanor she displayed at home to someone fun-loving and kind. Mary's in constant contact with her family and Isabel's doctor ... because this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
The book was entertaining and lively, with well-drawn characters throughout. Some of the plot twists were obvious but others were not. I enjoyed the read and would consider it light chick-lit with overtones that will make the Janeites happy.
“Here the silence felt right. I wondered if I'd ever truly heard it before. The realization of how much noise filled my world only became apparent in its absence......”
Mary is an industrial engineer that lives a same old same old life without any of the risk of taking on life or love. But when her childhood best friend, Isabel offers her a two-week trip to the Austen's Regency England she goes, but with great hesitation. Once there she learns to put everything aside and take in the experience as a whole...and then Isabel takes a mental escape. Mary gets more than she can imagine. Playing the role of a character, taking care of her sister/friend and the realization, you can't ignore the past to move forward gives you one emotional story ride.
“I sat on a cushioned chair outside the Blue Room and let the stillness sink in.”
I find that words are hard to describe the emotions that pull on the heartstrings while reading this book. Sometimes in life we can drift and get so comfortable we don't know how to break out, but then certain moments in life come along and shake everything up and you face a choice to jump in with two feet or stay put.
Katherine has done an amazing job of interweaving the past Austen books (which I want to go and read now) and putting those feelings/concerns/life lessons into today's world. You can always find yourself when you examine the past and learn from it. As for Mary Davies in this story she needs to "escape" so that she can find herself.
The character connection was strong and the references to Jane Austen's books, the interwoven story lines are so amazingly done. As I have never read any of Jane Austen's books I feel that Katherine has done such an amazing job writing this story, and it makes me want to go and read them all. Some books can get wordy or overdone, especially when based on classics, but you do not get that with this story. It's a well written novel and I can't wait to read more by her. FIVE Escaping Stars to take you away.
Mary Davies and Isabel Dwyer have been best friends since childhood, but Isabel needs to be the center of attention since her own parents hardly care that she exists. Isabel can be a fun, loyal friend, but she can also crush Mary so she won't be out-shown by Mary. So Mary doesn't really want to go on a vacation with Isabel nor play dress-up to satisfy Isabel's love of Austen. However, her latest project at work was a flop and her new boss has made it clear she wants to fire Mary. The man that Mary is interested in is dating someone else, not to mention that he's leaving the area soon. So she ends up going with Isabel.
There were detailed descriptions of the house and of Bath, so you feel like you're there and part of the party. Isabel says some mean things that echo what her father has told her. When she gets a cruel message from her father, she has a mental breakdown and fully takes on the role play, forgetting her past--and is a much nicer person that way. Mary has to try to help her while dealing with past betrayals by Isabel (and healing from them). She also has to deal with some misconceptions she has about her romantic match. It's fun watching them interact, and they're better people for having known each other. She also has to find the courage to deal with the job situation back at home.
There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting romance.
Most recent customer reviews
Mary, a brilliant engineer, has hilarious quirks, including making little figurines out of electrical wire...Read more
Mary Davies has thrived in her world of electrical engineering, working for a company that she helped create.Read more