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The Austin Escape by Katherine Reay

Posted on the 15 November 2017 by Bubblebathbooks
The Austin Escape by Katherine Reay 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 the 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 play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

Hurrah for another book set in Bath!! When I was reading The Austen Escape, I could fully picture the setting, and had a grand yearning to go back. Is there an actual manor house where one can pretend to be an Austen character? It would probably be fairly expensive, and I don't know how I feel about empire waist dresses, but otherwise, it sounds fabulous!

As we've said before, we'd look horrid in empire waist dresses. Me because I'd look about 11 months preggers, and Sissy because, well, an empire waist on Sissy is mid-boob. Nonetheless, if I could afford such a place, we would go. To be honest I would need a rich friend like Isabel to fund it, since Sissy refuses to pay for my things.

I have a strict $20 limit. Even though it was extravagantly paid for, our main character Mary was reluctant to go on the trip with Isabel, and it certainly turned out to be way different than she expected. I had no idea The Austen Escape was going to take the turns it did. Turns including the "adorable and intelligent" consultant's appearance, and Isabel's past secrets.

Oh, poor Isabel. The more we found out about her, the more pity I had for her.

Except she was a bit ruthless with men, right?

Absolutely! Interestingly enough, all the parts of her personality I disliked fell away as the story progressed. She's still not someone I'd choose as a bff, but that's okay. With characters as loveable as Mary and her romantic interest, it's good to have a few more prickly people in the pot.

Prickly pot people! My new book idea! Prickly people in a pot, or a prickled pot with people in? Or oversensitive people who smoke pot?

Aaand off she goes into lala land. Are you ready to get back to the book?

Yes, ma'am-back to business. There were several quirky characters amongst the guests at the manor, including the caretaker. I became as fond of them as Mary eventually did. It takes a bit for things to resolve (as much as possible) in The Austen Escape, but I was very satisfied with what became of Mary, Isabel, hot horse guy, and Mr. Consultant. A lovely, entertaining read with a plethora of Austen quotes and references.

The Austen Escape mixes all my favorite Austen figures with modern day happenings in a setting I would love to be in right now. Sissy, we must go back to Bath! Maybe for my birthday? Wishful thinking aside, another great offering by Katherine Reay.

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