ARC Review – The Austen Escape By Katherine Reay

Title – The Austen Escape

Author – Katherine Reay

Publisher – Thomas Nelson

Genre – Fiction, Romance

My Rating – 5/5


After years of following her best friend’s lead, Mary Davies finds a whimsical trip back to Austen’s Regency England paves the way towards a new future.

Mary Davies lives and works in Austin, Texas, as an industrial engineer. She has an orderly and productive life, a job and colleagues that she enjoys—particularly a certain adorable, intelligent, and hilarious consultant. But something is missing for Mary. When her estranged and emotionally fragile childhood friend Isabel Dwyer offers Mary a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in Bath, Mary reluctantly agrees to come along, 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 that she lives in Regency England. Mary becomes dependent on a household of strangers to take care of Isabel until she wakes up.

With Mary in charge and surrounded by new friends, Isabel rests and enjoys the leisure of a Regency lady. But life gets even more complicated when Mary makes the discovery that her life and Isabel’s have intersected in more ways that she knew, and she finds herself caught between who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who stands between them. Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this triangle works out their lives and hearts among a company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation.


I received an e-ARC of The Austen Escape from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Katherine Reay and I definitely want to read more! There have been a lot of Austen retellings and remakes in all sorts of media but this is definitely one of my favorites. She really does seem to have a grasp of Austen characters and her writing style is just so engaging! Here’s a beautiful line from the book –

Time. Our timing was off. How many times had I read that line? Or heard it in movies? Time was never neutral and often felt dangerous. We either think we have all the time in the world or time moves too fast or too slow; a shock can stop time; fear or impending pain can slow it. Time never simply is… And no matter how much you want to hang on to it time runs out.

The book felt like a RomCom written out. In fact, I’d really love to watch a movie made out of this book.  As you delve into the book, you become so attached to the characters that they seem so real – as if you know them personally. I knew there was trouble coming in their lives and yet the humor that it added to the story brought out quite a few chuckles out of me. I was so invested in their story that when they were in trouble, I actually had a heavy heart as I read.

I loved Mary Davies as a character! I could relate to her so much and I found myself nodding along to so many things she said. How Mary feels about Isabel is something that has happened to me so many times that I couldn’t help but enjoy her character.

Isabel’s character on the other hand was so complex! She isn’t particular likeable but as you find out more about her, you start to see things her way. She makes mistakes and is human, but she clearly means well and I loved that about her.

I enjoyed The Austen Escape far more than I expected to and it gets 4.5 (5) stars from me!

And thats all for today! Hope you have a great day. Until next time

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