If you would like to receive occasional updates about readings, talks, writing workshops, and other Jane Austen Addict news, please enter your email address here:
For features, interviews, and best-of lists, please click on "Press" on the left-hand menu.
Jane Obsessed With Jane
Monday, March 1, 2010
Review: "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" by Laurie Viera Rigler
Courtney Stone wakes one morning in her beautiful four-poster bed in her sumptuously arranged bedroom.
The only problem is that it's not her bedroom. In fact, it's not even her body.
Somehow, 21st century Courtney has woken up in the body - and the life - of Miss Jane Mansfield, a lady from the early 19th century.
Astonished and objecting, Courtney soon learns to hold her tongue about her true identity when her less than maternal "mother" threatens her with exile to an asylum - permanently. Over time, Courtney adapts to living in Jane's body and life, and begins to recall memories that are not her own. She also begins to fall in love with Jane's suitor, the enigmatic Mr Edgeworth.
With no idea as to whether she will ever escape to her own (albeit disastrous) life in the 21st century, Courtney/Jane has to learn to live in the present - even though that present is two hundred years in the past. She gradually accepts a slower pace of life and, in time, comes to feel that maybe she doesn't want to return to her own time, after all.
Laura Viera Rigler leads us on a fun, light, guided tour through the early nineteenth century, as seen through the eyes of a disillusioned modern woman. We are allowed to experience personal hygiene, travel, shopping, and love, all on a much slower and more considered scale than the one we're used to.
Gradually, along with Courtney/Jane, we overcome our own cynicism and preconceived notions about the time, and to see them with a new understanding.
The only factor lacking in this enjoyable book is the flip-side of the story; where has the "real" Jane Mansfield gone? If she has taken up the mantle of Courtney's 21st century life, as is hinted, how is she coping?
Obviously, I will now have to read "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict" in order to answer those questions. ;)