The Austen Escape
After years of following her best friend’s lead, Mary Davies finds a whimsical trip back to Austen’s Regency England paves the way towards a new future.Mary Davies lives and works in Austin, Texas, as an industrial engineer. She has an orderly and productive life, a job and colleagues that she enjoys—particularly a certain adorable, intelligent, and hilarious consultant. But something is missing for Mary. When her estranged and emotionally fragile childhood friend Isabel Dwyer offers Mary a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in Bath, Mary reluctantly agrees to come along, 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 that she lives in Regency England. Mary becomes dependent on a household of strangers to take care of Isabel until she wakes up.With Mary in charge and surrounded by new friends, Isabel rests and enjoys the leisure of a Regency lady. But life gets even more complicated when Mary makes the discovery that her life and Isabel’s have intersected in more ways that she knew, and she finds herself caught between who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who stands between them. Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this triangle works out their lives and hearts among a company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation.

The Austen Escape Details

TitleThe Austen Escape
Author
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780718078096
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Christian Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

The Austen Escape Review

  • Julie Carpenter
    January 1, 1970
    I previously read a book, A Portrait of Emily Price, by Katherine Reay and was completely pulled in by her writing style, the prose, the storyline, the characters. Very well done. I had also seen several friends loving her other Austen style books, so when I saw this available for review I jumped at the chance. I've been waiting for the release date to be a little closer before I read and reviewed it. Well when it hit a month away I couldn't wait any longer. I picked up my kindle and dove right I previously read a book, A Portrait of Emily Price, by Katherine Reay and was completely pulled in by her writing style, the prose, the storyline, the characters. Very well done. I had also seen several friends loving her other Austen style books, so when I saw this available for review I jumped at the chance. I've been waiting for the release date to be a little closer before I read and reviewed it. Well when it hit a month away I couldn't wait any longer. I picked up my kindle and dove right in.I had noticed that several other reviewers were saying that the beginning was a bit slow but at a certain point in the book, it picked up. I would have to agree with them that, yes it was a bit slow. But, the beginning is crucial for introducing our heroine. Mary, oh what to say about Mary? This story really revolves around a long standing friendship. A complicated, messy, and sometimes one sided friendship. And that one sidedness isn't just delegated to one friend, both friends in this relationship can be accused of being one sided. That's probably not very clear and I'm sorry because, well, it's complicated. What I will clarify with is, kids. Yes, kids. How often as kids did we see everything perfectly clear? No rose colored glasses at all? I'd say rose colored glasses a lot of the time. Most kids only see what's straight ahead, no peripheral vision (understanding) and that, I think, is a great way to describe this friendship. A friendship between Mary and Isabel. A friendship that started way back in elementary school. Two broken little girls, trying to make semblance out of their lives. One more stable than the other, but still feeling like everything around her is falling apart. The other, completely uprooted, degraded, neglected, broken. Again, I know that's vague, but this story is about that relationship and how years later, after this friendship has settled and follows a strict routine, enlightenment comes and it redefines and opens and changes everything.Ok, enough about that. I really hadn't meant to write about that when I sat to type my review out. But as I've called my reviews before, Julie's rambling thoughts, my thoughts come tumbling out how they may and I just type away happily as they do.Back to my thoughts about the beginning of this book, and Mary. I love Mary's character. Not to be spoiler-ish but a character in the book (not saying who) says to Mary on a couple different occasions, "what must it be like to live in your head?". I absolutely loved that line, because as the reader, we get to live in Mary's head throughout the whole book. For me, having the book written this way made it feel raw and real, the emotions and the moments of understanding, were that much more real. And I felt the connection to Mary strengthened because of the perspective we see of her life. So, although it might feel slow, it is important. The tidbits of background given, the friends/coworkers introduced in the beginning will play a role throughout the book.I feel as if I could write forever and ever on my thoughts for this book. I don't want my review to be massively long so I'm trying to pull out some of my favorite points of the story.Mary ends up going on a trip with her friend, Isabel, to Bath. Or more accurately to an estate located a few miles from Bath, in England. Isabel is an aficionado for all things Jane Austen. The trip is really part of her research for her final project. Live at a manor house, and become immersed in the true lifestyle of the Regency era. Escapism. I really loved the thoughts that the author gave us on this sort of Escapism. Is it real? What happens when the lines of reality and make believe blur? In a way one of the characters could be said to have escaped into her books, into the world of Jane Austen and become so consumed with it all, that she didn't live fully in reality. Now, there is a whole lot more surrounding those thoughts and why the Escapism for this character, and I'm not going to even go there. That is something you must read this book for and discover for yourself. But as I said, I really enjoyed the thoughts that the author showed us through several different scenes of the book, how characters set aside fully living by settling, or living through something else (not all were living in books). It was wonderful to see all the characters' perspectives on this as well, whether they realized it or not. How much of our reality is disillusioned? How much do we have our own sort of Escapism?Another theme that was throughout the whole book was, our individualism verses allowing others into our lives, not as an opposite of the Escapism I was talking about earlier, but more as relying on them, allowing them to help us. Not fighting battles, or experiencing life isolated, living in our own heads/world, but living and interacting, and making connections with those around us. Even when the connections we have made don't always turn out, or appear as we thought. All of these thoughts I'm talking about are some of the questions that Mary has to work out for herself in this book. Will she be able to take off the rose colored glasses from her youth, or her rose colored glasses that have been protecting her from healing from her losses, or any other rose colored glasses that she has been wearing? Those moments when she makes a choice and watching the unfolding scene after she's chosen were my favorite parts of this book. Some of those choices dealt with people, some with work, some were her personal experiences. But I loved those moments of, I think the best word here would be, Enlightenment.This review wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention how much I loved the idea, and the execution of the idea, of the characters who are vacationing at the manor house and dressing up in period costumes choosing characters from Jane Austen's books. They become those characters while staying at the manor home. And let me tell you, I loved Mary's choices. Yes, choices. Because she is on a journey of discovery and what she first believes of herself isn't necessarily what she discovers her true self to be. Happy sigh! I can't quite bring myself to share too much about the love interest. Because yes, there is most definitely a love interest in this book...two actually. And no, not for the same character. It's messy and complicated and perfect all at the same time. Again, happy, happy sigh!!!The almost end, might just make you say, "What in the world Mary!" But then the end, perfection. At least for me. I loved it! I actually was highlighting like crazy throughout my reading. I might skim through those and share a few with you...as long as they're not spoiler-ish. Hee Hee! If you can't tell already, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. I know not all readers prefer this genre or style but if you think you might, I suggest you take a chance. Now to go read more by this author!Here's a handful of quotes for your enjoyment!!! <33333"You can get these for free on an e-reader. They're in the public domain." "I know and I probably will, but I love books. The weight. The smell. The bigger the better. It's a shame Encyclopedia Britannica doesn't print all those encyclopedias anymore. Weren't those the best?" The woman sighed the equivalent of a Whatever and rang the sale. I patted the book's dark green cover as if to soothe any hurt feelings. I'd gone over the top with the whole Encyclopedia Britannica thing, but books-heavy books-meant something to me... I stepped into the gallery. Then I felt it-a shock of pure energy. It was noiseless. There was no change in pressure or sound. It simply felt like a charge reverberating through and around me, like when the guys in the lab set off experiments to see if my hair stood on end when I walked in the door. I looked down the stairs and there he was, right below me, looking around but not up. Four hours early. I closed my eyes, thankful for a moment to allow the heat in my face to cool. I shifted my weight to step back when a soft chuckle reached me. "Look at you." The words were soft, almost flirtatious."And why not? It's a manual for life-setting right pride, prejudice, misconceptions, and self-illusions. Also some good fun. Right now I'm going to take my cue from Caroline Bingley and sit here and admire you while I pretend to read." I blinked; he laughed. "Well, go on...Get to work.""Then if you won't go change..." I mustered up a smile and looped my arm through hers. "We shall walk. When there are serious matters to discuss, Austen women walk. And it has the side benefit of keeping our figures so light and pleasing." She choked on a laugh that became a mess of tears before we'd walked five steps.And those are all the quotes I'm going to share...I have plenty more but this review has already gone on epically long. *shrugs shoulders and blushes* Again, grab the book whether you're a Jane Austen fan or not, a Katherine Reay fan or not. I loved it, I know not everyone else will, but hey I can dream and hope to share something that I loved with others by encouraging you to give it a chance.Content: Clean and witty and emotional and sad, but all around great fun!I received a copy from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.Happy Reading!!!
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  • Sarah Monzon
    January 1, 1970
    I have read every single Katherine Reay book written so I know her style. When the beginning started a little slow, I just sat back and got comfortable, knowing she was setting the stage and aligning her characters in a way that was going to stretch my understanding of human emotional journeys through classic literature. The setting of an "Austen Escape" was fun (one I'd love to experience) but that was only the backdrop...this book is so much more than that. It speaks of friendship, of understa I have read every single Katherine Reay book written so I know her style. When the beginning started a little slow, I just sat back and got comfortable, knowing she was setting the stage and aligning her characters in a way that was going to stretch my understanding of human emotional journeys through classic literature. The setting of an "Austen Escape" was fun (one I'd love to experience) but that was only the backdrop...this book is so much more than that. It speaks of friendship, of understanding the unspoken and brokenness within us all, of stepping out of shadows and being brace and vulnerable to truly be oneself. True to life, the characters have messy histories and sometimes make huge mistakes that stem from hurts not healed. I thoroughly enjoyed the insights and reintroduction to beloved Austen characters and books. There were a lot of good quotes, and I wish I'd highlitrd them along the way to save.I'd recommend escaping a few hours in the pages of this book.I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    "When there are serious matters to discuss, Austen women walk. And it has the side benefit of keeping our figures so light and pleasing."I have to admit I have been getting a little tired of Austen everything. So many updates. So many re-imaginings--- But, if anyone can do Austen, Reay can. Especially because she doesn't just transpose a story into a new setting, she interweaves a new story with new characters, nuances and worlds with the timeless sensibility and humour of Jane Austen. Even whil "When there are serious matters to discuss, Austen women walk. And it has the side benefit of keeping our figures so light and pleasing."I have to admit I have been getting a little tired of Austen everything. So many updates. So many re-imaginings--- But, if anyone can do Austen, Reay can. Especially because she doesn't just transpose a story into a new setting, she interweaves a new story with new characters, nuances and worlds with the timeless sensibility and humour of Jane Austen. Even while you are not reading ye olde "Austen Update" that merely parallels Austen heroes and heroines in a modern setting, you are being confronted by an invigorated re-visitation of Austen's wisdom. When this strikes you, midway through the book, you recognize that Reay is far smarter than you initially could have thought. This is not just a nod to Austen, this is a thesis ABOUT Austen (specifically her relationship with Bath and her inter-textual connections about love, wisdom and modern relationships) told in prosaic form.It's not often that fiction is supplanted with such an academic tenet; but that is what makes Reay one of my favourite writers. With all of her Austen and Bronte and Weber infused prose, she makes a statement about the books she pays homage to. It is this added layer that asserts her as one of the finest contemporary voices.But while I get all stodgily English major-y on you, what makes Reay a must-read is her natural accessibility. While this certainly offers a grand wink and nudge to fans of Austen's work on a deeper level, so it is a keen and sparkly colourful carousel of characters transplanted into a Regency-modern hybrid in present-day Bath.Mary Davies is a quiet engineer who works for WATT, a startup in Austin, Texas. Constulant Nathan is one of the brightest parts of her day. While she works to gauge disappointment that her latest optical project Golightly ( yes, THAT is Holly Golightly) didn't take off, she assembles wire animals at her desk and works to decipher the extra attentions Nate gives to her. Work complications and a new manager, however, inspire her to accept her life-long friend Isabel's invitation for a vacation at an Austen-themed estate near Bath. Deciding to escape the everyday and clear her head, she follows Isabel into a world of costumes and balls, of traditional manners and eccentric participants who acquire a personage from the books for their stay.But Isabel is not as balanced as she seems and her domineering friend soon begins to show a remarkable mental instability, actually thinking she is Emma Woodhouse and speaking in the sequences and memories of Austen's canon. While Mary struggles to reach her friend, she discovers Isabel's connection to Nathan, who has sparked her life for so long it has flickered into a kind of unending flame. Hurt and confused---mostly by Nathan's own arrival at the estate--- Mary navigates the map of herself while amidst a fresh and inviting, humorous and whimsical world patronized by " clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation."Human relations and fallacy, the map of the human mind, the friction between literature and art chafing against science and logic and math: all in a carefully constructed waltz. I have spent some time in Bath and was happy when the resplendently unique city was drawn to colourful life by Reay's consistent canvas. As Seattle, Chicago, Italy and Ha'worth before, Bath becomes a pulsing throbbing city-- the antidote to the surging Austin heat. While this book may remind readers of Austenland by Shannon Hale, it takes a step further in immersing the reader not just in a surfacely Austen world of Regency mannerisms and dialect; rather a deeper look at the wisdom of Austen and her prodding and poking into the deepest tenets of human nature. There is a particularly profound moment that finds Mary understanding more about Austen's relationship to Bath beyond the lens of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey that made me shoot up and think.this book glistens.What makes The Austen Escape different than all other Austen updates and adaptations is that rather than just making a contemporary parallel of an Austen story and Austen characters, she works a profound and meaningful thesis about Austen into prosaic form. And that is why the Austen Escape is an integral companion to the study of Austen in the 21st Century.[with thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy]A few quotes: "As the morning rolled up its sleeves and got ready to welcome its friend afternoon, the sunshine held fast in the clear sky.""And Nathan fished. The silence was light and lovely until I realized it wasn't silence at all. The stream gurgled, birds chirped, something called in the distance.""Something had been missing and its absence only felt with its return. Nature abhors a vacuum and will fill it but you must create an opening. Music was that opening. It felt as if the universe was expanding right before me, in a ballroom in Bath," "And I was diminishing--as one should before the size and unending grandeur of the universe. It wasn't that I was smaller or less significant; it simply felt like I didn't need to fight for a place within it or for my own protection. ""I waited too and watched the stars. A few flickered and the sky felt like music. Music required honesty."
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    This was a delightful read. The characters are well developed and likable, or (some) pitiable once you learn more about their history. I liked Mary's character. She faces tough decisions and trials throughout the book. She may not be perfect, but the way she handles each trial is a credit to her character. Her friend Isabel is one of those girls you kind of want to hate, but there's so much pain in her past that you are reminded that everyone needs kindness and love in their lives, and we all ne This was a delightful read. The characters are well developed and likable, or (some) pitiable once you learn more about their history. I liked Mary's character. She faces tough decisions and trials throughout the book. She may not be perfect, but the way she handles each trial is a credit to her character. Her friend Isabel is one of those girls you kind of want to hate, but there's so much pain in her past that you are reminded that everyone needs kindness and love in their lives, and we all need forgiveness. There are other characters in this book that were also so interesting and while they were not main characters I liked that Katherine Reay gave them page time. Many of them had discoveries of their own along the way that made me feel that happy endings weren't just for the main characters. I don't want to give any spoilers so I'm avoiding naming all the characters. Nathan, the man that stands between Isabel and Mary is a sweet but strong type. He doesn't come in like a storm and sweep anyone off their feet. He has sweet steadiness is so endearing.The way the setting is described in this book makes you want to book a stay at this gorgeous manor in England. Is it a real place? If not it should be! From the setting, to the costumes, to the Austen references. I enjoyed every bit of this book. Even if you aren't a die hard Austen (Jane, of course) fan this is a fun, clean romance.Would I read it again? Yes.Would I recommend it? Yes.Clean read? Yes. I received this book from NetGalley. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed The Austen Escape, even though I didn't expect to considering I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan. I liked the characters and I didn't expect some of the things that happened in the story, so the book definitely held my attention and kept me reading.I loved the setting and the whole character acting aspect. It made for some humorous moments. ;) The romance was okay -- I didn't particularly love or hate it.All in all, an enjoyable read and if you've read other Reay books, I think you I really enjoyed The Austen Escape, even though I didn't expect to considering I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan. I liked the characters and I didn't expect some of the things that happened in the story, so the book definitely held my attention and kept me reading.I loved the setting and the whole character acting aspect. It made for some humorous moments. ;) The romance was okay -- I didn't particularly love or hate it.All in all, an enjoyable read and if you've read other Reay books, I think you will like The Austen Escape.*I received a complimentary eBook copy of this book for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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  • Andrea Cox
    January 1, 1970
    by Andrea Renee CoxThe beginning chapters of The Austen Escape provided a steady, gentle tug into the story, but before I knew what was happening, I found myself ensnared by this beautiful, vulnerable tale of tender hope and broken friendships wrapped in a contemporary-Regency setting. I love Ms. Reay's trademark inclusion of vulnerability and insecurities in not only the lead but also the supporting cast. Honestly, I think she's one of the best at incorporating these qualities in a way that mak by Andrea Renee CoxThe beginning chapters of The Austen Escape provided a steady, gentle tug into the story, but before I knew what was happening, I found myself ensnared by this beautiful, vulnerable tale of tender hope and broken friendships wrapped in a contemporary-Regency setting. I love Ms. Reay's trademark inclusion of vulnerability and insecurities in not only the lead but also the supporting cast. Honestly, I think she's one of the best at incorporating these qualities in a way that makes her characters and stories incredibly easy to relate to... and ones that will always have a place on my bookshelves.Content:alcohol and barsI receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, authors, and sites like Netgalley, Litfuse Publicity Group, and Blogging for Books. They do not require me to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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  • Sherwood Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I'm wary of Austen-related books, some of which read to me like cash-ins, without much awareness of what makes Austen so great. Kind of as if the book is trying to connect with the Keira Knightley P&P film, which I pretty much loathe, as it distorts the period and misses all the wit. I saw that it was set in modern times, then contemporary people going back for an Austen experience, a la Austenland, which I was vastly disappointed with: though I love Shannon Hale's fantasy, the many errors i I'm wary of Austen-related books, some of which read to me like cash-ins, without much awareness of what makes Austen so great. Kind of as if the book is trying to connect with the Keira Knightley P&P film, which I pretty much loathe, as it distorts the period and misses all the wit. I saw that it was set in modern times, then contemporary people going back for an Austen experience, a la Austenland, which I was vastly disappointed with: though I love Shannon Hale's fantasy, the many errors in the period, and the Austen-related material, kept me from enjoying that book. Mileage varies, of course.But Reay surprised me. First of all, Mary (whose name is Mary Davies, and I wondered if that was a sly salute to Mary Davys, one of the first female novelists, writing potboilers in the early 1700s) is a tech engineer, and no Austen fan, though her mother was. Her mother shared the Austen love with Isabel, Mary's bestie since childhood.Long-term friendships can go sour before at least one of the friends is aware of it, if not both. Like some marriages, sheer habit can keep them together, or a wish for the golden days of the friendship. Isabel pretty much drags Mary onto this Austen trip, and Mary goes, partly from emotional blackmail, but also to get away from her job, and her antagonistic boss. Also, to get away from the freelancer, Nathan, who is there to evaluate the company--and for whom she has had the secret hots. But of course workplace romances are not comme il faux--and then Mary discovers that Isabel has been dating Nathan without telling Mary. Though Mary has been talking about him for months.It's that competition and emotional undercutting that drives the book, with all kinds of character grace notes with the rest of the cast to both complement the emotional journey, and contrast with it. Mary is a go-getter engineer, but emotionally she is curiously passive. Of course there is a reason she doesn't call Isabel on her behavior, as Isabel increasingly is demonstrating some disturbing signs that remind Mary of events in their childhoods. Mary's dad has been a mainstay for both, something Mary needs to come to terms with.The Austen experience is interesting, the side characters lovely. I loved the elegant, vivid descriptions of the house the event is held in, and its story as it gradually comes clear. I think there was only one weak moment (view spoiler)[(Isabel's about-face is both sudden and convenient, so not quite convincing) (hide spoiler)], but that did not ruin the read for me. The climax is richly satisfying, and the fact that I could be lured into following a protagonist whose interests are pretty much the opposite of mine was testament to the author's skill.Copy provided courtesy of NetGalley
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This a wonderful book on so many levels! I always enjoy Katherine Reay's writing - her plots, prose, research, timing, twists - are so polished, and 'just my cup of tea." Weaving in Austen's characters and situations makes her books distinctive and perfectly satisfying. And the setting for this book? Book my ticket! I would LOVE to spend a fortnight in this authentic setting!This story is the journey of two motherless friends discovering and embracing who they really are while on a research trip This a wonderful book on so many levels! I always enjoy Katherine Reay's writing - her plots, prose, research, timing, twists - are so polished, and 'just my cup of tea." Weaving in Austen's characters and situations makes her books distinctive and perfectly satisfying. And the setting for this book? Book my ticket! I would LOVE to spend a fortnight in this authentic setting!This story is the journey of two motherless friends discovering and embracing who they really are while on a research trip to Bath, England. Scholar Isabel has always been the wealthy, beautiful, bossy friend, and she naturally chooses to be Emma...what a fit! I was delighted when meek engineer Mary refused Isabel's suggestion that she be "SK" Harriet Smith or Jane Fairfax. Instead, she plays Catherine Moreland, choosing her own story and the happiness of being a heroine in her own right. But just when all looked predictable, this romance takes several unexpected turns. As in the play set in the middle of Austen's Mansfield Park, "within role play, we find ourselves." And what a finding it is!Reay contrasts the fathers of our two friends and shows who is truly the rich one. She also, like Austen, makes sure all her deserving people get their own happy ending...even if it's not the ending they expect. Reading this book was a treat, and I was torn between racing through it in anticipation, or setting it down to make it last. I compromised by reading almost all of it twice in two days! I can't recommend it highly enough. I think it's my favorite Reay title since Dear Mr. Knightley, though I loved all of them. Warning: reading this tale will make you move Jane Austen to the top of your TBR pile! I received an ARC from the author, but was under no obligation to leave a favorable review.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    As the reader progresses through Reay's latest, the venture into Austen's world becomes increasingly magical. This is not a retelling of Austen's tales through modern eyes. It is placing present-day characters into those stories and telling them through a different focus. Reay's exquisite phrasing will resonate with readers and provide much fodder for pondering. At times, the portions of the book dealing with electrical engineering and Mary's job get a little complex and drag the pace slightly. As the reader progresses through Reay's latest, the venture into Austen's world becomes increasingly magical. This is not a retelling of Austen's tales through modern eyes. It is placing present-day characters into those stories and telling them through a different focus. Reay's exquisite phrasing will resonate with readers and provide much fodder for pondering. At times, the portions of the book dealing with electrical engineering and Mary's job get a little complex and drag the pace slightly. The romance storyline is not as meaningful as is the one dealing with Isabel and Mary's friendship and their various family relationships. Overall, this is a beautifully written novel and one to be savored and enjoyed.Mary Davies is an engineer for a startup design company. She likes the stability of her life and is stymied when a project she is working on is stuck. Against her better judgment, she accepts a trip to accompany her childhood best friend Isabel to Bath, England, so that Isabel can complete her doctoral thesis on Jane Austen. They arrive at an English manor house for a complete immersion into Austen's books and culture — complete with costumes, dialogue, games and parties. Mary begins to get into the swing of things, but it soon becomes apparent that something is not quite right with Isabel, and Mary must decide what to do about her friend, as well as her future. https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...
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  • Emily Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.Katherine Reay has the uncanny ability to weave classic literature into her own narratives, writing page-turners that will leave you thinking. Her first two novels were fantastic and it feels like she's back in her stride with The Austen Escape. Mary and Isabel have a friendship that often resembles a sibling relationship. Their complicated past gets even more complicated when a charming man gets stuck in t I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.Katherine Reay has the uncanny ability to weave classic literature into her own narratives, writing page-turners that will leave you thinking. Her first two novels were fantastic and it feels like she's back in her stride with The Austen Escape. Mary and Isabel have a friendship that often resembles a sibling relationship. Their complicated past gets even more complicated when a charming man gets stuck in the middle. Add in a dream trip to Bath where the pair masquerade as Regency era ladies and you've got the basic plot of this enjoyable novel. The Austen Escape explores friendship, self-discovery, and how to heal from a painful past. Perfect for any Janeite or someone looking for a clean, lively romance.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Two childhood friends reconnect and take a two week dream vacation to England. Staying at an eighteenth century home, they take a step back in time in a Regency immersion experience, and find themselves in a complicated situation. An insightful story, rich in details, told through Mary's first person perspective. Recommend skipping the synopsis on this one, and just diving in as I did, savoring the story as it unfolds. "Jane Austen understood people and she was funny...Across two hundred years, Two childhood friends reconnect and take a two week dream vacation to England. Staying at an eighteenth century home, they take a step back in time in a Regency immersion experience, and find themselves in a complicated situation. An insightful story, rich in details, told through Mary's first person perspective. Recommend skipping the synopsis on this one, and just diving in as I did, savoring the story as it unfolds. "Jane Austen understood people and she was funny...Across two hundred years, I [Mary] recognized her characters in the here and now. She wrote about people I knew." Good, well-developed, complex characters with relatable struggles made this an interesting read, especially with the group at Braithwaite House in Bath. The descriptions of the scenery, people, and interactions made it feel like a real Regency book in parts, except with a contemporary group. They were like characters plucked from the Austen books, complete with a few tender, sweet affections growing between some couples. No overt discussions of faith, but themes of genuine friendship, compassion, betrayal, grief, forgiveness, and family lend inspiration in parts. I felt for Mary with all she goes through, and cheered as she overcomes her difficulties at work and with Isabel, picking herself up, and taking back "her best self", especially with her music. Learning to forgive and see her friend through eyes of compassion was inspiring; most of us give up on relationships that are difficult like that one. It demonstrated to me what a true friend looks like. Recommend this to readers who enjoy character driven stories with classic references. An enjoyable contemporary story with some clean romance. The index of all the Austen characters was very helpful in the beginning, and a nice reference. 4.5 stars(An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I am a sucker for all things Austen related and was so happy that this book did not disappoint.The Austen Escape was very clever in its method to encompass and reference as many Austen characters as possible in a plausible and realistic manner. The backbone of the story involved a get away to an 'Austen role play experience' with two estranged best friends; subdued Mary and dominant Isabel. As their past and present history weaved itself throughout the book and their personalities compared to na I am a sucker for all things Austen related and was so happy that this book did not disappoint.The Austen Escape was very clever in its method to encompass and reference as many Austen characters as possible in a plausible and realistic manner. The backbone of the story involved a get away to an 'Austen role play experience' with two estranged best friends; subdued Mary and dominant Isabel. As their past and present history weaved itself throughout the book and their personalities compared to namesakes within Austen's world - it really helped to bring to life their issues as we readily rooted and sympathised where necessary. There was also an unexpected twist that really helped to make the story its own.It's such a small thing but I love that the protagonist Mary was so smart (she's an Engineer) and her knowledge was more than a surface level description; it seeped into all aspects of her life.The novel barely scratched the surface with the secondary characters, and definitely took the easy way out by simplifying conclusions to problems that should have been more complicated. However due to the overall lightness of the book it is something that was easily forgiven. Some of the conclusions left me without closure, and by not ending in the location where the bulk of the story took place, it gave the illusion the story was being dragged out.For the non-Austen's don't be put off as the characters referenced from Austen's works offer a subtle nuance to the overall tone of the novel whose themes revolve around friendship, romance and escapism.A fun and quick read.
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  • maryreads
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very sweet story! To be honest, I always start an Austen retelling with wariness. But if there is someone I can count to respect the beauty of a classic story and, at the same time, make it genuinely her own, that would be Katherine Reay.I really liked Mary from the start. She is smart, loyal and dedicated - although she doesn't recognize her potential. She loves her job and has made good friends in it. However, Mary questions herself a lot and, to a certain point, she protects herself This is a very sweet story! To be honest, I always start an Austen retelling with wariness. But if there is someone I can count to respect the beauty of a classic story and, at the same time, make it genuinely her own, that would be Katherine Reay.I really liked Mary from the start. She is smart, loyal and dedicated - although she doesn't recognize her potential. She loves her job and has made good friends in it. However, Mary questions herself a lot and, to a certain point, she protects herself too. This is made worse when a new colleague makes Mary feel as if her job is on the line, even though she is one of the first hired employees and is someone her boss trusts a lot.What seems opposite to Mary's more quiet personality is her boisterous best friend Isabel. From the beginning, it is evident that, even though these two claim to be close, there is a certain unspoken tension between them. Isabel has had a tough childhood and has been able to find solace in Mary's closely knit family. Mary seemed to have everything Isabel didn't, and Isabel was happy enough to be included in the Davies's world. Even though they were able to harbor this friendship for years, I think the author gently pointed out how some unhealthy and ignored foundations were laid. Some readers might even complain that in the beginning of the book these two might seem to have no real chemistry. But, as the truth comes out and we get to know the facts surrounding Mary and Isabel's history, we understand Mary's fears and reserved nature, as well as Isabel's hurts and temper. My heart ached for them and rejoiced as well as they found their way back to themselves and to the people around them. And oh the joy to see their eyes opened to the preciousness of each person's individuality, but also the strength brought by a community.At first, I thought I would be bothered by the entire play-dress-up. But it was brilliant! The innocence of make-believe will help each character to find the best in themselves and learn to be brave. If you want to find out what I mean, you'll have to read this book!**Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy. This is my honest review
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    I love that you never know what you are going to get in a Katherine Reay book as far as storyline. But you do know that you will get good story. I loved this story. I mean, I really did. And it is not just because I am someone that loves Jane Austen. Her way of giving us story while addressing serious life issues without any type of feeling traumatized is a gift. For one, I would love to go on one of these excursions. It would be so much fun to be able to embrace that and experience it, but I, l I love that you never know what you are going to get in a Katherine Reay book as far as storyline. But you do know that you will get good story. I loved this story. I mean, I really did. And it is not just because I am someone that loves Jane Austen. Her way of giving us story while addressing serious life issues without any type of feeling traumatized is a gift. For one, I would love to go on one of these excursions. It would be so much fun to be able to embrace that and experience it, but I, like the characters in the book, would need the internet to keep up at work. I loved how topics like disassociation, abusive parents, issues with relationships were all part of this novel, but not the focus of the novel. If you did not relate to it, you likely would miss it. Many people would totally not see it at all. But for those that need it, it was there. If you are an Austen lover, this has to be on your Christmas gift list. It is available from Amazon and wherever books are sold. 
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I can't get enough of Katherine Reay's books. The worlds she creates are so lush that you feel like you are stepping into them, but I never feel bogged down in descriptions. In this book she manages to take you between a high tech world and Regency England in a way that feels natural. Her characters are well formed - relatable and flawed (which is maybe why they're relatable) - and they changed and grow throughout the book. As with her other books, this book is full of hope without a hint of bei I can't get enough of Katherine Reay's books. The worlds she creates are so lush that you feel like you are stepping into them, but I never feel bogged down in descriptions. In this book she manages to take you between a high tech world and Regency England in a way that feels natural. Her characters are well formed - relatable and flawed (which is maybe why they're relatable) - and they changed and grow throughout the book. As with her other books, this book is full of hope without a hint of being cheesy. As a Jane Austen fan, I loved all of the Austen references, but anyone who would enjoy a good character-driven story would enjoy this book whether they've read Austen or not.I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on November 7, 2017.
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  • Anky Singh
    January 1, 1970
    The cover of The Austen Escape is artistic, colorful and so very cute!Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest review!Mary and Isabelle both are really interesting characters and this book was an amazing experience because of them!The storyline was awesome, the characters well developed, and the descriptions? Oh my my.I wish I could write an essay on how much I enjoyed this book, but I don't think I have enough words to do that.So I guess I'll have to do with say The cover of The Austen Escape is artistic, colorful and so very cute!Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest review!Mary and Isabelle both are really interesting characters and this book was an amazing experience because of them!The storyline was awesome, the characters well developed, and the descriptions? Oh my my.I wish I could write an essay on how much I enjoyed this book, but I don't think I have enough words to do that.So I guess I'll have to do with saying that this book was an amazing read and that I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I had! :)
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I'll have to admit, this book is dynamic! If you haven't read a book by Katherine Read, than I highly recommend that you do! She makes this amazing world that readers enter in, come to life. Every time I sit down with one of her books, I know I am in for a real surprise. Her characters are on point! You can't help but love them and feel as though you're apart of their lives. They are always growing with the story, which is exactly how an amazing writer is able to capture the reader with such emo I'll have to admit, this book is dynamic! If you haven't read a book by Katherine Read, than I highly recommend that you do! She makes this amazing world that readers enter in, come to life. Every time I sit down with one of her books, I know I am in for a real surprise. Her characters are on point! You can't help but love them and feel as though you're apart of their lives. They are always growing with the story, which is exactly how an amazing writer is able to capture the reader with such emotion, which is what Ms. Reay does! You will love the the charm of the English country side and the elegancy of this book. I love how this book is written modern day, yet with classic information of the time frame of Jane Austen with the background and characterization as close as it could be. It makes it for a wonderful read. It is a book that will spark all five senses and bring out your imagination. This is Katherine's best book yet! Grab a copy of this book because when you get it in your hands, you won't be able to let it go until the final page. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy. A favorable review was not required.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Exquisite!While reading Dear Mr. Knightley a couple of years ago, I became a devoted follower of Katherine Reay. That book changed something profound in and for me. DMK began a new era of literary joy outside favorite 19th century female authors. I regularly read and enjoy contemporary fiction and non-fiction, but the depth of character development and insight into human struggles is richer in those jewels of literature. To find a contemporary writer similarly attuned to the nuances of human nat Exquisite!While reading Dear Mr. Knightley a couple of years ago, I became a devoted follower of Katherine Reay. That book changed something profound in and for me. DMK began a new era of literary joy outside favorite 19th century female authors. I regularly read and enjoy contemporary fiction and non-fiction, but the depth of character development and insight into human struggles is richer in those jewels of literature. To find a contemporary writer similarly attuned to the nuances of human nature is a rare gift. I believe The Austen Escape surprisingly eclipses the masterpiece of DMK. TAE is a treasure with highlighter and margin notes in abundance and would be a welcome guest to any book club.I received a complimentary copy of the book without obligation. This review is my opinion.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first book by Katherine Reay but will be looking for others. It was a fun escape into a world of Austin vacations bringing along friendships that are rocky and relationships that are blooming dislike misunderstandings. Very Austin!
  • Jill Hart
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fun read. Reay has a gift for interspersing just the right amount of Austen into fabulous modern stories. <3
  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    I realize I've gotten a bit behind the times, and this is the first Katherine Reay book I've ever read (even though I've heard many, many good things). And of course, I wonder what took me so long.The Austen Escape reminds me of Shannon Hale's Austenland, with its Austen-esque, Regency experience, but it is much kinder--a place of healing rather than disillusion. I appreciate the truly welcoming atmosphere of guests in a friend's home, and it feels down-to-earth and real, offering guests the fre I realize I've gotten a bit behind the times, and this is the first Katherine Reay book I've ever read (even though I've heard many, many good things). And of course, I wonder what took me so long.The Austen Escape reminds me of Shannon Hale's Austenland, with its Austen-esque, Regency experience, but it is much kinder--a place of healing rather than disillusion. I appreciate the truly welcoming atmosphere of guests in a friend's home, and it feels down-to-earth and real, offering guests the freedom to go as deep into the Regency experience as desired without requiring they give up any more modern technology than they wish. And though there are moments of humor, it never feels silly--it's far more thoughtful.I enjoy how different Mary is from the norm--an engineer, brilliant with electricity and gadgets, who, for all her less than typical pursuits, is still plenty feminine. In some respects it feels like we're getting the story of the sidekick rather than the heroine, a role Mary has been relegated to too often in her life, yet she crawls out of that role to become a heroine of her own making. There's a strong focus on friendship through the story, probably equal to that of the romance (which, really, is more like real life than the average romance novel). Her struggles with her job, with the loss of her mom, with her feelings as a sidekick rather than a heroine in her own right--all make her very real and relatable. All in all, a very enjoyable Austen experience.Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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  • Dianna
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book, but really, how could you not love a book based on all the major novels of Jane Austen? In echoes of Shannon Hale's Austenland, Mary and her best friend Isabel end up on vacation on a Regency estate, high-waisted gowns and all—but that is where the similarities end. Reay's work is very different from Hale's: still fun, but a little deeper and more believable. The supporting characters are less funny than Hale's, but more real and more relatable.This book was a fun "es I really enjoyed this book, but really, how could you not love a book based on all the major novels of Jane Austen? In echoes of Shannon Hale's Austenland, Mary and her best friend Isabel end up on vacation on a Regency estate, high-waisted gowns and all—but that is where the similarities end. Reay's work is very different from Hale's: still fun, but a little deeper and more believable. The supporting characters are less funny than Hale's, but more real and more relatable.This book was a fun "escape." It is hard to believe it would ever happen in real life, but who cares? This is a must-read for Austen fans.
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  • Katie_ladyyy
    January 1, 1970
    If you're an Austen fan at all you will enjoy this precious story. Reay has a way of writing endearing romance novels that aren't overly cheesy. Pick this up for a quick, yet wholesome read.
  • Faouzia
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsThe Austen Escape was not the first book i read by this author, it turned out that i previously read "The Brönte Plot" and enjoyed it a lot. It was not the reason for choosing this book though, i honestly did not make the connection quickly. It is simply that i can't resist any story that has Jane Austen and her books as a theme, that comes with a risk of course and i have been disappointed before.But not this time. I LOVED this one.Mary, an industral engineer, embarks into a journey ba 4.5 StarsThe Austen Escape was not the first book i read by this author, it turned out that i previously read "The Brönte Plot" and enjoyed it a lot. It was not the reason for choosing this book though, i honestly did not make the connection quickly. It is simply that i can't resist any story that has Jane Austen and her books as a theme, that comes with a risk of course and i have been disappointed before.But not this time. I LOVED this one.Mary, an industral engineer, embarks into a journey back to the Regency period, in a manor in Bath reliving the stories of Jane Austen, with her childhood best friend Isabel. It was a long way to come from Texas and not an easy one for a "pragmatic" engineer. Both Mary and Isabel had a complicated and grief-filled past and they had no idea how this escapism esperience was going to change both of them and make them see each other like never before.I though this book will be just fun. But it was more than that. All the dressing up, the pretend, even the choice of characters for each of the guest showed their personality and exposed the fragile sides of them, most of all for Mary and Isabel.There are many things i loved about this book starting with the house. As the story was told by Mary, and being an engineer, she was bound to see it differently from other characters and i liked her way of perception, i mean who would notice the wiring otherwise? I loved the story of the house, the way it was organized, it felt more than just a place, especially when we get to learn more of its story by Gertrude, the housekeeper.The characters were a very interesting combination, i liked that it was not only about "young couples", the old married couple, the child Clara, added something special to the story.And the best two points for me were: One, that for a change the story did not have the usual Mr Darcy and Lizzy that i found in so many similar books. I liked the fact that the characters chose various personas, and some that were not the focal point of Austen books like Mrs Jennings, Margaret Dashwood even the characters from Northanger Abbey. Also the fact that Persuasion was mentioned much more than any other Austen book, i liked this because it is my favorire book.The second point is Nathan, a very interesting character. I mean a man who really knows Jane Austen, the details about the characters and even getting the difference between the two Ferrars brothers. Now, that's a keeper. I was half in love with him by the end of book.As in Persuasion, this story was about clearing misunderstanding and second chances and i enjoyed it a lot. I am now tempted very much to get to all the other books by Katherine Reay, that should be a real treat for me.I got this book through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
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  • MsAprilVincent
    January 1, 1970
    2.5I know, I know; I chose to read it, but how many Austen-based novels does the world need?〰Mary's gently blackmailed into going on a Jane Austen vacation in Bath with her best friend (in name only) Isabel. She's also taking a break from some tension at her tech company, where there's a rising conflict between talent and management. Oh yeah, and there's a guy she likes and she's kinda beating feet on that too.〰At the manor, Isabel suffers some sort of mental break and now she thinks SHE'S an Au 2.5I know, I know; I chose to read it, but how many Austen-based novels does the world need?〰Mary's gently blackmailed into going on a Jane Austen vacation in Bath with her best friend (in name only) Isabel. She's also taking a break from some tension at her tech company, where there's a rising conflict between talent and management. Oh yeah, and there's a guy she likes and she's kinda beating feet on that too.〰At the manor, Isabel suffers some sort of mental break and now she thinks SHE'S an Austen character. She's had a dissociative episode before, in her teens; rather than instruct Isabel to get to a hospital immediately, her doctor's like, "naw, let's see what happens." That's ... that's bad medicine.〰Because of hijinks and author interference, the guy Mary likes, Nathan, shows up, and obviously Mary thinks he's hot for Isabel. Within two days, though, Mary and Nathan are talking about how much they love each other; p.s. Isabel still thinks she lives in the Regency period, hahahahahaha.〰I found this book to be problematic in its treatment of mental health issues, as well as its unrealistic attitude toward love. There's no mention of Isabel's recovery process (she does come out of her fugue state) and the characters around her don't seem too concerned that she had a pretty serious medical issue. "She's better, bye!" is the extent of that.〰Also, I think two people who nursed crushes on each other for a year and then talk to each other for a couple days and exchange L-words are NOT the best example of true love. It's very teeny-bopper in its expectations, and I couldn't look past that.〰I liked the proprietor of the Austen-ish estate, and the author's defense of Catherine Moreland, who gets overlooked all too often when Austen's characters come up; Northanger Abbey is my favorite, and tbh I don't love Lizzy Bennett like most fans seem to.〰Given my criticisms, you might think I didn't like this book, but here's the thing: I DID. The writing's engaging and the story is fast-moving, and I read it in a couple of hours.〰All told, if you're looking for something to do on a rainy afternoon, you could do worse than reading this book.I received this book as a digital arc from netgalley.
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  • AnnMarie
    January 1, 1970
    The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay Mary Davies is an Austen Fan, a surprise perhaps considering she is a very practical person, an industrial engineer. She is in a bit of a rut at work, unable to figure out something vital to the completion of an invention of hers. The company she works for is changing, the atmosphere is changing, and it doesn't take much for her father to convince her to take a vacation with her best friend.Isabel is that friend, in fact, she is more like a sister to Mary. Th The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay Mary Davies is an Austen Fan, a surprise perhaps considering she is a very practical person, an industrial engineer. She is in a bit of a rut at work, unable to figure out something vital to the completion of an invention of hers. The company she works for is changing, the atmosphere is changing, and it doesn't take much for her father to convince her to take a vacation with her best friend.Isabel is that friend, in fact, she is more like a sister to Mary. Their relationship hasn't been the best of late. Isabel's father is paying for them both to travel to England to have an Austen holiday. They will spend two weeks dressing and behaving as characters from Jane Austen books.A time that should be all laughs and silliness ends up more dramatic when Isabel has a mental issue. She wakes up one morning and honestly believes she is the character she is portraying and that they are indeed living in Regency times. All they can do is allow her to carry on with her belief until hopefully, she snaps back to herself as she has in the past.To help her through the ordeal a guy she fancies at work but who has only been her friend through the years joins her in England. It seems he knows Isabel too, why didn't Mary know that? I liked this story but it wasn't what I was expecting. The beginning chapters were quite slow, and it wasn't until Mary landed in England that I became more engrossed in the book. I would have liked there to have been more role-playing written about, and a little more romance too. That said, it was definitely a novelty reading references to engineering work amongst a story involving Regency settings. Isabel and Mary were deep characters with a lot of history between them. Their relationship had been floundering but their time away is a big step towards mending some bridges. I expected a very light-hearted story, instead, it was very much more complex.I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers' copy of this book.
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  • Leonie Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    I read The Bronte Plot last year and really enjoyed it, so it made sense to give The Austen Escape a try, and it did not disappoint. Katherine Reay writes novels about American's who love English Literature. As the title may give away, this one is about all things Jane Austen. Mary is an engineer for a start up company called WATT, she loves her job and she's in love with a colleague Nathan who never seems to look at her that way. On top of that she's beginning to fear that the new hardcore CEO I read The Bronte Plot last year and really enjoyed it, so it made sense to give The Austen Escape a try, and it did not disappoint. Katherine Reay writes novels about American's who love English Literature. As the title may give away, this one is about all things Jane Austen. Mary is an engineer for a start up company called WATT, she loves her job and she's in love with a colleague Nathan who never seems to look at her that way. On top of that she's beginning to fear that the new hardcore CEO Karen is going to fire her. Unrequited love and fear of losing her job come to a head when her latest project becomes a failure and she snatches up the opportunity to visit Bath, England with her friend Isabel who is writing her dissertation on Austen's novels. Cue adults playing dress up at an old regency style house and many shenanigans going down. But things take a sinister turn as well and then a very unexpected one. The plot twist is cleverly laid out. One of those that makes you go 'doh!' For not realising it was obvious what was going on all along. The novel is well written, it's very light and fun, it's not by any means a serious book but that doesn't stop it from being enjoyable. Sometimes light and fun is exactly what a reader needs! I love the play on the historical literature in a modern day setting as well and it's definitely inspired me further to visit Bath! Another lovely read from author Katherine Reay.
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  • Kazen
    January 1, 1970
    I love and respect Jane Austen as a literary figure but I have a confession to make – I haven’t read any of her books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried! I’ve started Pride and Prejudice many times but haven’t gotten past page 30. Sigh.That being said I love the Regency period so the idea of a “real” manor vacation is exactly my thing. I like the way it was handled, too – technology is put into the background but not shunned all together. A vacation spot that confiscates cell phones probably wouldn I love and respect Jane Austen as a literary figure but I have a confession to make – I haven’t read any of her books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried! I’ve started Pride and Prejudice many times but haven’t gotten past page 30. Sigh.That being said I love the Regency period so the idea of a “real” manor vacation is exactly my thing. I like the way it was handled, too – technology is put into the background but not shunned all together. A vacation spot that confiscates cell phones probably wouldn’t be popular, you know? The days are filled with as many Regency activities as the guests can handle with chances to tap out when needed. The pragmatism kept any nitpicking part of my brain at bay.Even with the interesting setting the characters take center stage. People grow and change and everyone is fleshed out from the leads down to the manor maid. While Austen is discussed a lot over the course of the story I felt like I was able to keep up. Some references went over my head but it didn’t get in the way of the story. Needless to say, Austen fans will have more to dig into. The writing is solid but not stylistically notable, and the plot pulled me through no problem.The more you love (and know) Austen the more you’ll get out of The Austen Escape, but even if you’re a relative know-nothing like me you can enjoy the ride.Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a review copy.
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  • Chesney
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting when I read this. I had read the author's previous novels and enjoyed them so this had to have the same feeling. Right? It didn't have the wow factor and I found myself a bit confused in some parts. An Austen escape. You had me right there. Mary and her somewhat childhood best friend head to Bath, England for the experience of a lifetime. The whole time I thought , "This is exactly what I want to do." Through circumstances Mary finds a lot abo 3.5 stars. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting when I read this. I had read the author's previous novels and enjoyed them so this had to have the same feeling. Right? It didn't have the wow factor and I found myself a bit confused in some parts. An Austen escape. You had me right there. Mary and her somewhat childhood best friend head to Bath, England for the experience of a lifetime. The whole time I thought , "This is exactly what I want to do." Through circumstances Mary finds a lot about herself and the guy she secretly likes. I felt Mary and her love interest just automatically fell in love and the leading up was so fast. Not my favorite but will definitely read more from the author. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to review.
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  • Darcysmom
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. Mary Davies may be a well-educated adult with an excellent career, but that doesn't mean she has truly come of age. When her best friend, Isabel, invites Mary to join her on a two week vacation to Bath for an immersive Jane Austen experience, Mary is wary but agrees to go. While staying in a fully restored manor house, Mary and Isabel not only experience a recreated past, but face their own pasts as well. I I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. Mary Davies may be a well-educated adult with an excellent career, but that doesn't mean she has truly come of age. When her best friend, Isabel, invites Mary to join her on a two week vacation to Bath for an immersive Jane Austen experience, Mary is wary but agrees to go. While staying in a fully restored manor house, Mary and Isabel not only experience a recreated past, but face their own pasts as well. I really liked Mary Davies. She was a relatable main character and I cared about what happened to her. I also liked that the spirit of Jane Austen was present in the book, but was not oppressive. The Austen Escape is a solid novel, which I truly enjoyed.
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