Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
by Laurie Viera Rigler
Book Summary (from Amazon)
After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?
Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney’s borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.
Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman–and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may turn out not to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.
I Eat Words’ Review
I’m a sad excuse for an Austen fan since I’ve only read Pride & Prejudice but for some reason I was drawn to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. It might have been my love for the BBC show “Lost in Austen,” which the premise of the book reminded me of, and Pride & Prejudice or it might have been the cover. It pops out and is eye-catching and I’m a sucker for a nice cover.
The book starts with Courtney waking up in Regency England as a woman called Jane Mansfield and she assumes it is all a dream–her subconscious making up the fantasy from her obsession with all things Jane Austen. But then she doesn’t wake up. And she endures realities of Jane Austen’s England that were never mentioned in any of her novels. Like how women dealt with their “monthly courses” and chamberpots and how one was supposed to bathe and brush their teeth. And her 21st century semi-feminist ideals have no place in 19th century England where women have only one career choice- marriage.
The characters in the novel reminded me of an Austen novel which was enjoyable and Courtney’s reactions and experiences in Regency England seemed realistic if a person from the present day could travel back in time and learn how to act and do things appropriately. At times Courtney’s choices made me want to shake some sense into her for being so selfish but her actions also made her more real.
The ending was a bit confusing but that’s only because I wanted to know exactly what happened to Courtney (can’t say any more without ruining the ending) but I just found out there is a sequel that I’ll have to pick up that is about the woman Courtney has swapped lives with (Jane Mansfield) living in 21st century Los Angeles while Courtney is in 19th century England.
All in all, it was a fun, quick read and I’d suggest it for those who enjoy Jane Austen.
What would you do if you woke up in Regency England? I’d stalk down Jane Austen and then stare in starstruck shock.