The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Critically-acclaimed author Katherine Reay’s latest love letter to Jane Austen.
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.
As recently as 6 months ago, I had not read any of Katherine Reay’s books. Then, in December, I listened to the audio version of A Portrait of Emily Price, and I was hooked! Since then, I’ve read (or listened to) all her books that have been released.
This one, I also had the privilege of enjoying the audio version. Reading the book snynopsis grabbed my attention because I’ve always dreamed of a taking trip to England, and I just love the story line of this one!
Mary Davies is kind of stuck in her job….thinks she might be on the verge of getting fired. And then she gets an offer from her long-time friend that she can’t turn down. An all-expenses-paid trip to England. The catch is that they have to participate in a Regency era costume party. And this also means living as though they were back in those good old days.
As always, Ms. Reay’s characters come alive and right off the pages….Mary was a character that I could relate to in so many ways. Her struggles. Her relationships, and more. The way she assumes things…I could go on and on.
There is some romance involved. But mostly there are lots of relationship issues to work through, particularly between Mary and her friend Isabella. This book doesn’t sugarcoat the hard things, but shows how they work through them.
I loved seeing the character growth through the book. The story takes various twists and turns, and is intriguing to the end.
The only thing that made me a bit sad was the ending. As I mentioned already, I was listening to the audio version…and I didn’t realize I was at the end of the book, until it was over. So it felt a bit too abrupt for my personal preference. I would have loved to know more about the characters.
And yes, even though I am not a professing Jane Austen fan, I still loved this story!
At the beginning I said I’ve read all Ms. Reay’s stories…well, all but the very newest one–The Printed Letter Bookshop. It doesn’t release until May, but I have the privilege of reading and reviewing it early! 🙂 It’s one of my next books to read, and I can’t wait!