Coming Soon to Theaters: Austenland

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

Location: The Lodge @ Sonoma in Sonoma, Calif. for day 2 of the Books & Such Agent Summit

Today’s book: Austenland by Shannon Hale

I am extremely excited about Austenland‘s upcoming film release, and a sequel is in the works too! Sadly the film trailer hasn’t released yet, but if you want more info on the film, here’s the link:

Basically, Austenland is the story of Jane, a woman in her 30s, who has an obsession with Mr. Darcy, especially the Mr. Darcy played by Colin Firth in the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. Her desire for a Mr. Darcy of her own leads her to believe she’ll end up as a spinster until an elderly great-aunt passes away and leaves her a trip to Pembrook Park–a high-class Jane Austen resort in England. At Pembrook Park, Jane has a chance for her dreams to come true.

The book is hilarious and perfect for Jane Austen fans like I am. It leaves you dying to readΒ Pride & Prejudice for the one hundredth time. The movie is being produced by Stephenie Meyer, so I owe some vampires a word of thanks for selling so well in book and movie format.

I believe that Austenland is a good candidate for film because:

1) Jane is a character who is like so many young women today. She’s career-driven but a closet romantic and is obsessed with Jane Austen’s works.

2) It’s a story that most women will want to see on film, and we’re usually very good at getting our significant others to take us, which equals twice the ticket sales.

3) The book was really funny but made me cry too. I think the story evokes the emotions and has the perfect setup to be a romantic comedy.

4) It’s a Jane Austen story without being one that takes liberties with Austen’s works.

If you’ve read the book, please add to the list of reasons it would make a great movie. πŸ™‚

Do you enjoy Jane Austen-related books or regencies? What makes a good regency story or a good Jane Austen-related book? Why do you think these books are so popular?

18 Responses

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  1. Amanda Dykes says:

    I’m intrigued! I hadn’t heard of this work, and I’m especially pleased by your fourth reason. I had a tough time enjoying “Lost in Austen” when it came out a few years back because of the liberties it took, so I’ll look forward to enjoying “Austenland” when it comes out.

    …Regencies are among my top genre preferences, and I especially look forward to works that offer new information on the time period– which leads to plot ideas that haven’t been overdone. “The Apothecary’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen did such a good job of this. I’ve not read her most recent release yet, but of her previous books, “Apothecary’s Daughter” is my favorite for its unique niche within the popular genre.

    …and then there is always the draw of, as Kathleen Kelly says (“You’ve Got Mail”), the langauge– words like “thither, mischance…felicity!” What’s not to love about a genre whose vocabulary has its own magnetism? πŸ˜‰

  2. This sounds like just the kind of movie my mom and I would go see together. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounds like lots of fun.

    Personally, I love Austen so much because her books are deeply romantic, and yet her wit cuts through any potential cheesiness. It’s the perfect balance. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” has to be one of the greatest opening lines ever written.

  3. Ok, Rachel, that’s just spooky. πŸ™‚ When I commented yesterday on the Hunger Games, I thought about the only other book I’ve read recently where I had that same confident thought, “Someone’s gonna make a movie out of this one.” Yes. Austenland. I listened to it on audio and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course it capitalizes on Jane Austen’s astounding popularity, yet it is done in a unique way, unlike many Austen pre- and sequels. And I agree with what you said about the main character. She is a lonely, likeable woman looking for love and readers want to see her find it. I, too, found it unexpectantly touching as well as romantic. I’ll be first in line for the movie!

  4. Thanks, Amanda, for your kind words about The Apothecary’s Daughter. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I’ve heard of this book before, but I haven’t read it nor have I ever read any Jane Austen. Gasp! I know I’m so bad. I have P&P on my Kindle right now. Does that count?

    Part of why I think regencies are so popular ties into what I said about The Hunger Games. So much of what is out there for young people these days seems to highlight the dysfunction or negative aspects of society. With regencies, we can find deceit and dishonor, but overall there’s a feeling of respectability–the majority of the characters are good and it’s just the villain(s) whose bad. Now, that’s not always the case, but I think people need to read fiction where there are more good guys than bad guys, even if the good guys don’t always win.

    Thanks for the great posts this week, Rachel. They are helping me keep up with what’s going on in the film world and publishing too.

  6. Beth K. Vogt says:

    Intrigued too. I like the plot and while I’m not obsessed with Jane Austen, I do like a good romance. And I also have one daughter and several friends who love all things Jane Austen.

  7. My daughters and I are big Austen fans. I can’t wait!

  8. Anne Love says:

    I like your intuition that women will enjoy this because so many women in today’s audience are “career minded closet romantics”! I can so relate to that. Are we closet romantics because our careers have to be so logical and ultra-organized there is no room for art there? As a Nurse Practitioner who writes Historical Romance, I feel like you just looked into my soul with that bit of insight! :o)

    I love Jane Austen for the wit she uses that makes her characters come alive. Just because many women are closet romantics doesn’t mean we throw intelligence to the wind when we have a yen for a great story.

  9. Diana Dart says:

    Ooooooh, totally intrigued. Austen all the way.

    I hadn’t heard of this book (or movie), but it’s now jumped to the top of my TBD pile (and found a place on my TBW pile as well!) Thanks, Rachel.

  10. Jill Kemerer says:

    How have I never heard of this book?? Don’t worry–I wrote it down. I’m ordering it later this afternoon. And, yes, I’ll be watching the movie! Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. Anne Love says:

    I loved your post so much, I added your blog link to my blog post today! Thanks for getting my thoughts churning! Have a great day.

  12. Amanda Dykes says:

    Julie, thank YOU for such well-written, engaging books! I “discovered” your books last spring and read them in record time. Can’t wait to read “Maid of Fairbourne Hall”! πŸ™‚

  13. Rachel Kent says:

    How funny, Julie K! You predicted my next blog post!

    I’ll be right there in the front of the line with you! πŸ™‚

  14. Rachel Kent says:

    Cheryl, I envy you! Nothing compares to reading Pride & Prejudice for the first time.

  15. Rachel Kent says:

    Thanks for your comments, Anne! I especially love the line you wrote that “we don’t have to throw intelligence to the wind when we have a yen for a great story.”

  16. Looking for the release date of this film and stumbled across this post. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to add that the audio book version of the book is AMAZING. Laugh out loud funny and great performance by Katherine Kellgren. Can’t wait to see the film…

  17. Christy Underwood says:

    One of the best reasons to look forward to this movie is the laugh riot, Jennifer Coolidge, as Miss Elizabeth Charming. I can’t wait!

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