About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)
Falling into the past will change their futures forever.
Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees 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 she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.
Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.
My Thoughts on the Book:
The idea of an Austen escape, as described in this book, sounds absolutely fabulous. Dress up in period dresses, do period activities, and make believe you’re in Jane Austen’s novels? Does this place or one like it actually exist? I have no idea. But I love the idea of it, and would love to participate, if given the chance.
The characters in this book feel real, and relatable, and vulnerable. And I’m about as much smitten with them as I was by the characters in Reay’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley. In fact this book, reminds me a great deal of the things I loved about that first book. Bravo!
The introduction to various relevant Austen characters at the beginning of the book had me a bit nervous that perhaps I would need to brush up on my Austen trivia to keep up with all the names. Or at least take notes on the introductions, since in audio format I wouldn’t be able to easily refer to that cheat sheet later. But no, as I continued reading, I discovered that I needn’t have worried. Everything you really need to remember about specific Austen characters to follow this story is made clear at relevant points within the context of this book itself. Whew!
I consider this book a must read for any fan of Jane Austen’s novels. And really anyone who occasionally enjoys dressing up and playing make believe. Also, for anyone who enjoys a good romance in general.
Specific to the Audio Edition:
The lovely British (and American) accents employed by the narrator of the audio edition are icing on the cake to an already beautifully written text. The narrator’s reading is pleasant, comfortable, and emotionally engaging. I highly recommend the book, and most especially the audiobook.
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.