Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

I don’t normally read Austen inspired fiction (the romance is a bit too mushy for me) but this was supposed to be set in Bath and it seemed a bit different so I got it. And you know what? I really enjoyed this!

In The Austen Escape, Mary Davis is the reluctant companion to her best friend Isabel as they go for the ultimate Austen immersion experience (on a side note, if there really is a place that lets you dress up and live like Austen characters, LET ME KNOW!). Unfortunately, Isabel has a dissociative episode after receiving some very bad news and loses her memory, instead believing that she is living in Regency England.

Unfortunately for Mary, she and Isabel have been having some issues between them, and her stress at work (which is actually a pretty big part of the book) isn’t helping. When she finds out that Isabel is dating Nathan, the man she likes, things get worse. Only, how can she be mad at an Isabel who doesn’t know who she is?

What I liked about this was that the romance was very muted. Although Mary and Nathan’s relationship is one of the key themes, a large part of the book focuses on Mary and Isabel’s friendship as well as her personal growth via work problems. Everything comes together pretty seamlessly to form one overarching story.

And the Austen immersion place sounds fantastic! I want to go there! Bath doesn’t really feature in this book (although the Jane Austen Center gets a mention) but the Manor House is so delightful that I didn’t mind at all. I also really enjoyed reading about all the other guests, and I like how they each had their own stories.

If you’re an Austen fan, I think you’ll like this. It isn’t overly saccharine and I like the balance of romance, friendship, and personal development. Plus all the Austen references are really fun.


  1. I haven't read too much in the way of Austen spin-offs, but this one sounds good. An Austen immersion experience would be so wonderful! I wish it was real too. You've got me curious about the Manor House and the guests there. This sounds like a must read book. Thanks for your great review, Eustacia.

    1. If it was real, I would be saving up for it! Hope you get the chance to read this!


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