Friday, May 4, 2012


So a couple of weeks ago I checked Stephenie Meyer's website, which I used to do a LOT more frequently back when she actually used it, and though it had been longer than a year since she had posted the last time I'd checked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had started updating again! There were several lengthy posts complete with pictures and news on her projects. I got caught up and was excited to read that she was planning on spending some quality time writing. One of the projects that had kept her busy was producing a movie based on a book a friend of hers wrote. Evidently it became a best seller. So I decided to check it out.

Austenland: A Novel

If you like a love story that makes you chuckle now and again, you'll enjoy this. If you like Jane Austen's works and have daydreamed, particularly when watching one of the remakes, about living in the early 19th century, then you'll love this book. I've gotten period information before on what it was like to live during Austen's time, but they added some new information that you would need to know for day to day social interactions. Kinda cool- I love history lessons. Delving into some of the meat of the book, *spoiler alert* it was so refreshing to read about a character who was not sleeping around for once. She actually has a list of every "relationship" she's been in and from what I can tell, none of them mentioned sex, so the plot certainly didn't revolve around shallow, meaningless physical attraction, despite what you might think from the beginning of the story. I appreciated the narrator's and main character's disdain for infidelity and every attempt to be honest, despite the circumstances. I still read young adult, in addition to adult fiction, and it seriously was such a breath of fresh air to read about characters with substance for a change. What's sad to me is that I have a better chance of finding that in young adult these days than in adult literature.

I'm taking a women's literature class right now, so I know my professor and some of the other students would balk at the following, but part of me really prefers the way things were back then (1817). I know that unless you were a wealthy white male, your options were crazy-limited, your life could be pretty dull and/or hard, and respect was not wide-spread. I know that. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to wear jeans, or whatever I want really, and I appreciate the hardwork and sacrifices from women before me that allows me to make my own life decisions and gives me so much opportunity. But part of me wishes we could carry some of the modesty from 1817 to today, when divorce was to be avoided rather than encouraged, when sleeping around was scandalous rather than a hobby. Call me old fashioned, but for all the technology and advancement we have today, it seems that, at least in America, our lives are a lot more empty.

Anyway, while I wasn't blown away with the story, I really enjoyed it and everything it represented. This was book number 13 on my goal list of 25, so I'm just a little ahead of schedule. *happy* Since I have no other recommendations waiting for me, I'm taking a break from new material and starting up Harry Potter again. Hopefully in a month, I'll have more prospects!

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