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Fruits de Mare
[From Austen round-up piece, July 9, 2008]
Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies
Lastly, the best of the bunch: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. The twist to this story is a clever little time-travel plot device. Courtney Stone, 21st century denizen of Los Angeles, has a very bad breakup. After an evening of self-medicating with her dosage of choice (vodka and Jane Austen novels) she wakes up in the body and life of a 30-year old spinster in Regency-era England, Miss Jane Mansfield. Winking anachronisms abound, but fade as the story picks up speed. I do wonder how such a devoted fan of Austen’s work could be so stymied by the historical and social realities of the period… especially the social realities. Courtney’s naivete when dealing with men is particularly jarring. And yet, there is a definite charm to the story, that comes directly from Courtney’s brash 21st-century personality conflicting with the reserved politeness of Austen’s period. There’s even a cameo by Ms. Austen herself. I do hope that somebody has picked up the television or film rights to this story. It would make a wonderful Masterpiece Theatre episode. This is by far the best of the bunch (though I’m an Austen nerd so I also have a fondness for the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy)