Study Guide

Austenland Lies and Deceit

By Shannon Hale

Lies and Deceit

We've always wanted to host our own murder mystery. No, don't call the cops. We're talking about one of those house party games, where you invite over all of your friends, dress up in funky clothes and hats like you're at the Kentucky Derby, and, when one of your friends pretends to be killed, everyone else has to figure out who did it… without ever breaking character. Austenland is kind of like one of those games, except no one dies. Although the ladies are so melodramatic, anyone could keel over of a broken heart at any moment. In Austenland, just like in a murder mystery, no one is who she says she is, and everyone is playing the game with their proverbial cards close to their chests. At least, we're assuming they are. It would be hard to win at whist if everyone could see your hand.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What's the fun of going to Austenland if everything is just an act? Do you think that you'd forget, over time, that you were acting if you went to Austenland?
  2. Is it wrong for Martin to deceive Jane, or is his put-on affection a fair part of the Austenland experience?
  3. Why does Jane assume that Henry is authentic in the end, when he had been an actor the whole time, just like everyone else (including Martin)?
  4. What is Jane comfortable with when it comes to acting? What doesn't she feel comfortable doing?

Chew on This

The other guests of Austenland (not Jane) have been there before, so they're more at ease with playing characters.

Jane is mad at Martin for deceiving her because even though he breaks character to have a fling with her, his "real identity" is still a lie; he's a lie within a lie.