The Austen Escape Audiobook
By: Katherine Reay
Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
Published by Brilliance Audio 11/07/2017
8 hrs and 36 mins
The Austen Escape Audiobook Sample
The Austen Escape Audiobook
I’ve enjoyed the author’s Dear Mr. Knightley, a modern take on the old story Daddy Long Legs, with its depth of plotting, characters, and background so when I spotted The Austen Escape, I was eager to escape into another of Reay’s stories.
It seems so fun and frivolous- two besties headed off to Bath, England for a couple of weeks of dressing up and pretending they’re Jane Austen heroines at an old country estate. But no, this is a book about two women who have drifted apart, both having painful pasts, and complications in their present. This trip is Isabel’s idea and she wants Mary to come along for a chance to reconnect. Little does Mary know that she needs this trip as much as Isabel. Mary’s a scientist and electrical engineer so she doesn’t get into the whole dress up and pretense at first, but then the setting, the other guests, and her own circumspection begin to work on her. She has some choices to make about how her life has been going and will she continue to keep a rigid hold of it so that nothing new, including a chance with a wonderful man, from touching (aka hurting) her.
This was a gently paced story with many subtleties. It reminded me so much of a friendship I had back in childhood through high school. We were close and shared so much, but we were also rivals in so many ways and hurt each other at times. This is Isabel and Mary, too, just on a deeper more complicated scale.
I loved the story and was caught up in it all just hoping Mary would heal and finally move on with her life. The romance was sweet, but was secondary to the women’s friendship and need for personal growth. It did come on more strong toward the end and was the promise of the big prize for Mary if she made it through all her growing in time to appreciate the fantastic guy who was steadily waiting for her to get past her fears and confusion.
All in all, The Austen Escape offered some fun and lovely moments, touched me like the earlier book, and left me well satisfied with the story of friendship and romance. I think it will best suit those who enjoy a blend of women’s fiction and romance.
The Austen Escape Audiobook Narration
I listened to this book and found new to me, Emily Sutton-Smith, a grand choice for this book. She got the Texas twang of Mary, the British accents and the other European accents of the larger cast of characters down well. She infused warmth and understanding, tone and perfect pacing into this story so that I lost myself in it each time I clicked it on. I’ll definitely be going back for more of her work. And woohoo, she’s ‘Local Talent’ and I do love supporting those from around my neck of the woods.
Katherine Reay has lived all across the country and Europe and has just moved with her family to Chicago. She is a writer, wife, mom, runner, and, most randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. Her award-winning debut novel, “Dear Mr. Knightley,” is a contemporary story with a dash of Jane Austen and other nineteenth century writers thrown in for the fun of it. Her subsequent novels, “Lizzy & Jane” and “The Bronte Plot” and “A Portrait of Emily Price” feature stories of hope, reconciliation, family, some seriously good food and travel.
Emily Sutton-Smith is a professional actress, and one of the co-Founders of the Williamston Theatre (WT) in Williamston, MI. Appearances on the WT stage include Summer Retreat, Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, Miracle on South Division Street (2015 Wilde Award, Best Actress in a Comedy), End Days, The Usual: A Musical Love Story, The Smell of the Kill, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds (2009 Best Actress Thespie Award, Lansing State Journal), Maidens, Mothers and Crones and Additional Particulars. A New York City native, she has worked onstage at almost all the Equity Theatres in Michigan, including the Purple Rose Theatre, Performance Network Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, the Detroit Rep, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and MeadowBrook Theatre. Emily is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA. Film and TV credits include: The Funeral Guest, Gifted Hands, Butterfly Effect: Revelation, The Prince of Motor City and Nevermore. Emily is the narrator of over 65 audio books (available through Audible.com), studied acting at the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York City, and holds a Grande Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from MSU.