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by Bonnie Silva
San Diego Books Examiner
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
June 18, 2009 1:31 PM
What would happen if you woke up one day not in present day Los Angeles or even in your own body but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency era England? So starts this clever tale of time travel and much confusion in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.
Modern day L.A. native Courtney Stone wakes up one morning inhabiting the body of one Jane Mansfield in nineteenth-century England. Just yesterday Courtney was trying to recover from a shattered engagement and a broken friendship. What else was there to do that evening but self medicate and collapse with a well worn copy of Pride and Prejudice?
Thatís when I decided to order myself a large clam-and-garlic pizza and reread Pride and Prejudice. I would self-medicate with fat, carbohydrates, and Jane Austen, my number one drug of choice, my constant companion through every breakup, every disappointment, every crisis. Men might come and go, but Jane Austen was always there.
Courtney must now contend with Janeís mother who is not only hell bent on marrying off her 30 year old daughter to Mr. Edgeworth, she also dangles the constant threat of sending her off to an asylum if she keeps insisting she is not Jane; her father, the polar opposite of his wife, encourages Janeís independence; Miss Barnes her maid and confidant guides her through every day Regency life; and then there is the very eligible and handsome Mr. Charles Edgeworth himself, is he a devious flirt or someone to be trusted. Courtney struggles with her preposterous situation, modern day sensibilities trapped in a nineteenth-century corset. Why chamber pots alone are enough to send her over the edge. She soon starts to accept this out-of-body experience and her personality begins to meld with Janeís. But what of Jane, where is she and will Courtney ever get her real life back?
This enjoyable and exceedingly addictive read is the debut novel of Laurie Viera Rigler. The much anticipated sequel, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, is due out June 25.