cover image Austenland


Shannon Hale, , read by Katherine Kellgren. . Audio Renaissance, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4272-0141-6

Katherine Kellgren gives a marvelous performance in this entertaining chick lit/romance about 30-something Jane, who fantasizes about Jane Austen's heroes (particularly Mr. Darcy) while her real-life relationships flounder. She gets the tantalizing chance for a two-week holiday at an exclusive English estate where guests can experience Regency England, complete with Austenesque actors to romance them. Kellgren creates the perfect voice for each character—she's absolutely hilarious as Miss Charming, a 50-something Southern woman who tries desperately to put on a British accent and fails miserably; she's appropriately arrogant yet compelling as the attractive Mr. Nobly. As the boyishly charming Jasper, a gardener from Sheffield, Kellgren is more than up to the challenge of a very tricky accent to pull off. Kellgren brings wonderful acting to her performance, conveying Jane's conflicting emotions: thrilled at living out her fantasy while simultaneously embarrassed and self-conscious at being so silly and school-girlish. This is perfect summer beach listening for fans of chick lit, romance or Jane Austen. Simultaneous release with the Bloomsbury hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 12). (June)