Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"The Austen Escape" by Katherine Reay

In which I quit two other books I'm reading, right in the middle of them, because I just couldn't hold off on reading this until I'd finished them.  It sat there on, taunting me, promising all the delicious, thoughtful, engrossing fun that Reay books deliver to me.  I caved.  I read.

I mean, I WILL finish those other books.  But I had to pause them.  This was too tempting.

Was it worth it?  You betcha.  Reay's books delight me, and this was no exception.  Even though I kept wanting to shake various characters and tell them to be nicer, or more sensible, or less sensible, as the case may be.  You see, the main character, this engineer/physicist/inventor named Mary -- she has a completely horrible friend named Isabel.  Like, just the awfullest friend.  I basically could not stand Isabel through most of the book, though I did pity her.  And Mary frustrated me because she was kind of this weird mix of oblivious and pragmatic and secretive, and um... I liked her, but I didn't always sympathize with her.  

However, I reeeeeeeeeally liked Nathan.  He was all kinds of awesome -- sometimes edging into too-good-to-be-true territory and then suddenly getting all realistic and not-so-perfect-after-all.

This is not my most sensible book review ever.  Okay, so Mary works with Nathan, but won't let him know she likes him.  Her childhood friend Isabel (I use the term 'friend' really loosely here, because Isabel rarely behaves like a friend to Mary) takes Mary to... basically Austenland.  If you seen that movie or read that book, then yeah, it was kind of like that.  A big, ancient house in England where everyone dresses up like they're in Regency England and adopts names of characters from Jane Austen's books, and they all have some escapist fun.

And then Isabel's mind kind of gives away, or she has a sort of mental breakdown, or something -- it's never really labeled -- and she starts to believe she IS Emma Woodhouse.  In a much less far-fetched way than I'm making it sound.  It makes sense in the book, okay?  And Mary has to help her friend kind of work through some stuff, while Mary also works through a bunch of emotional and work-related stuff... I'm saying "stuff" too often, aren't I?

Sorry.  I could vague that up a little for you, if you'd like?  Anyway, it was a thoroughly enjoyable book :-)  Though not as overly Christian as some of Reay's others -- I'm not actually going to label it "Christian fiction."

Particularly Good Bits:

"Music is math, and once you understand that... How can anyone not be in awe?  It's the audible expression behind the laws of the universe.  it feels like the only thing, apart from God, that lives outside time.  Once released, it lives on and it can make you laugh and cry, rip you apart and heal you, all within a few discrete notes strung together.  And while it follows rules, expression is limitless" (p. 195).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for a few mentions of things like cleavage and some mild kissing.  No sex scenes (or make-out sessions), no bad language, no violence.


  1. I definitely want to read this book! Great review, Hamlette. :)

    1. Thanks, Elanor! I think it's in m top 3 of Reay's books. Hope you enjoy it too :-)


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