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Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict
by Laurie Viera Rigler
Jane Mansfield, a Regency era gentlemanís daughter, falls from her horse while riding. To her immense bewilderment, she wakes up in the year 2009 in the body of someone named Courtney with the only familiar items a collection of Jane Austen novels. She sets out to discover new and wondrous inventions, learn strange new customs and to try to figure out just how she got there (and if she can get back). Or does she want to go back?
Though it is a scenario Iíve thought of frequently while reading historical fiction, I cannot imagine writing in the perspective of a 19th century character visiting the 21st century. Laurie Viera Rigler does so seemingly effortlessly as she includes much detail to Janeís discoveries. Every time I thought something wasnít touched upon Ė that Jane would obviously have to question or marvel at Ė it is explained in the very next paragraph or on the next page. Plus there are surprising instances where I was not expecting certain feelings or revelations from Jane, but her 19th century mind worked perfectly into the situation.
If youíve read Riglerís other novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, which tells the story of Courtney stuck in Janeís body in Regency England, you will find that the stories mirror each other and there are hints as to what may be going on in the otherís life. There is a mystical character that appears to each of the women to offer advice and help each see a new perspective.
I really enjoyed this novel for its humor as much as the writing style and characterization. Itís a fun read and a must for all Jane Austen enthusiasts.