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Confessions of a Jane Austen addict : a…

Confessions of a Jane Austen addict : a novel (edition 2007)

by Laurie Viera Rigler

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Title:Confessions of a Jane Austen addict : a novel
Authors:Laurie Viera Rigler
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Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

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When a 21st century woman wakes up to find herself in Jane Austen's England, she discovers that her romanticized view she has of the world might have left out a few things. She did recognize a woman's place in her reading, but had not realized just how rigid the class and gender constrictions were. She had no idea of the smell or the conditions, such as chamber pots and having to haul water to take a bath. A well written, readable story that does leave quite a few plot holes. Not a bad read for a quiet afternoon when you don't want to work too hard. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Sep 10, 2014 |
This had an interesting premise, but it pretty much just fizzled out. Not impressed. ( )
  2wonderY | May 16, 2014 |
Chick-lit time-travel fluff about a modern California girl who was prone to “self-medicate with Jane Austen” plunked down into the body of a daughter of a Regency England family. Ok if you’re an Austenite seeking a fix. ( )
  countrylife | Jan 27, 2014 |
I wet back and forth about giving this 3 or 4 stars. I settled on 3 because, though it was a fun read, I didn't finish the book feeling like my life had been changed by it.

It's a fun and easy read - so I definitely recommend it if you want something entertaining that you can veg out with and not have to think too hard about. I liked it enough I will check out the sequel "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict". ( )
  VikingBunny | Dec 15, 2013 |
Courtney Stone, a modern-day LA girl and addict of the Austen novels, in the midst of yet another binge following the collapse of her engagement, is suddenly -- at least mentally -- hurled back in time and into the body of Regency spinster Jane Mansfield (geddit?). She soon finds that she's living amid both the best and the worst of the era from which the novels she so adores were born. Is rich youngish widower Charles Edgeworth, whom her bitch mother wants her to marry, really the delight he seems or in fact a heartless seducer who will wed Jane and then oppress her vilely while bedding any passing miss who takes his fancy? Can Charles's sister Mary really be as ingenuous and sweet-natured as she seems? Did Jane, before the "arrival" of Courtney's personality to replace her own, bed or not bed the servant James with whom she obviously had some kind of romantic dalliance on the rebound from an earlier disillusion with Charles? Will Courtney ever be able to return to her 21st-century existence? Has Courtney always really loved Wes, whom she's thought of as merely her best friend? Is Jane's mind inhabiting Courtney's life in the 21st century even as Courtney's life is inhabiting Jane's in the early 19th? Why is Jane's artist father producing Cubist paintings over a century before the style will be invented?

This last two questions never get answered, and nor, really, does the very vital one of how it came about that Courtney's mind made the transition through time from one body to the other, from one life to the other. It does emerge that at some stage not long ago Jane visited a fairground fortune-teller and expressed the wish that she could live someone else's life rather than her own; soon after this she fell off her horse and lay unconscious for a while until awakening with Courtney in occupation. This doesn't seem more than a mumbo-jumbo explanation, as if the author ducked the challenge; when Courtney/Jane encounters the fortune-teller again, there's no elucidation, just further mumbo jumbo along Wisdom of Yoda lines . . . or perhaps along Sarah Palin lines:

Your problem is your mind [says the fortune-teller:], which, as I said before, does entirely too much thinking. You know, it is a little known fact that thinking is entirely overrated. The world would be a much better place if we all did a lot less of it.

Much more interesting than this supposedly meaningful anti-intellectualism is Rigler's rationale for how Courtney can experience occasional fleeting memories of events in Jane's life before the mental transition occurred:

My mind, my very identity, is tied up in all the memories of the life I called my own, my life as Courtney Stone. Yet that bundle of memories, that thing I call my self, is residing in Jane's body. And that body has a physical brain of its own. And that brain has memories imprinted on it -- visual, experiential, sensory memories. Perhaps the more I become used to living in Jane's body and using her brain, the more I am starting to access her memories.

I wish there'd been lots more of this sort of thought-provoking stuff in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict rather than what came to seem, at least to me, interminable gigglish scenes in which Courtney comes close to giving herself away or being thought mad as she voices liberated 21st-century attitudes into a Jane Austen world, or in which she speculates what might might happen here if she simply banged whichever hunky male has this time caught her fancy rather than merely flirting with him. In this context, the primary frustration is when Courtney/Jane actually runs into Jane Austen (who was publishing her novels anonymously) and, rather than having a conversation with her that might, say, expand our understanding of the background to the novels, blows the encounter by fangirlishly babbling about the movie adaptations -- references which, of course, mean absolutely nothing to Austen. If the scene were funny this might be an excuse for wasting the opportunity; as it is, this seems like just yet another ducked challenge.

All in all, the book's moderately entertaining, in the sense that I did actually get to the end of it. But its lack of ambition, its inability to convey (at least to me) any sense of place and the fact that its  central situation doesn't seem properly thought through -- all these meant I found it difficult to think of this as anything more than a bit of moderately well written fluff. ( )
  JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Viera Riglerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlagh, CassidyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Till this moment, I never knew myself.
--Jane Austen,
Pride and Prejudice
I dedicate this book to Austen addicts past, present, and future; and most of all, to Jane Austen, whose bit of ivory is an endless source of wisdom and joy for this humble admirer. If there is any justice in the world, Miss Austen, then there is a parallel reality in which that lovely young man from the seaside didn't die young, you lived to write at least six more novels, and the two of you grew happily old together, preferably without children.
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Why is it so dark in here?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is a story of characters changing bodies and lives with Courtney Stone in Jane Mansfield's body. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict is the parallel story of Jane Mansfield in Courtney Stone's body. It is probably best to read this book first.
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Book description
This is a story of characters changing bodies and lives with Courtney Stone in Jane Mansfield's body. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict is the parallel story of Jane Mansfield in Courtney Stone's body.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525950400, Hardcover)

In this Jane Austen–inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen’s time.

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 love of Jane Austen 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, condomless 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 not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:51 -0400)

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A modern young woman wakes up one morning in the nineteenth-century England, in the bed (not to mention the slim and svelte body) of a girl called Jane Mansfield. At first she thinks this has to be some sort of weird dream, but slowly she becomes used to the absence of toothpaste and fat-free food, and finds herself actually enjoying Jane's life.… (more)

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