I found “The Austen Escape” to be just that – an entertaining escape. The story was both humorous and fiercely serious at the same time. Written from Mary’s point of view, it allows the reader to experience her emotions as she deals with the challenges in her life.

A strong woman who works in a high tech industry, Mary seems somewhat out of her element at the English manor house where she has reluctantly agreed to spend a two-week holiday with her best friend Isabel. Mary is definitely not the type of gal who enjoys dressing up in Victorian era costumes and pretending to be a character from one of Jane Austen’s novels. But she is in need of an escape and Isabel needs her – more than either of them could have imagined.

Best friend of not, Isabel has not been the best friend to Mary over the years, or so it seemed to Mary. Often self-centered, Isabel has hurt Mary frequently but Mary has remained loyal to a fault. Over the course of the story Mary has proven that loyalty over and over. I liked how Mary began to understand things about their past through a different perspective and the healing that took place as a result. There was also be a bit of romance in store for Mary.

I enjoyed “The Austen Escape” enough to want to go back and read this author’s previous novels. I can only hope I will find the time to do so.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

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.


Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries — who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. Katherine’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She is also the writer behind Lizzy & Jane and the The Bronte Plot – all contemporary stories with a bit of “classics” flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, former marketer, avid chocolate consumer and, randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago.