Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Laurie Viera Rigler
Penguin Group (USA)
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". . . sharp wit and saucy prose . . ."
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict: Destiny and the hidden desires of the human heart refuse to be denied.
Courtney Stone goes to sleep and wakes up in Regency England in 1813 in a different body. She finds that she is part of the privileged class, pursued by a wealthy gentleman whose reputation is questionable and whom her mother has decided she must marry or end up a spinster. As Jane Mansfield, Courtney is able to do things she never thought possible. She acts with an ease and grace completely out of character for a twenty-first century girl living in Los Angeles who just found out her fiancé is a lying, flirting cheat and that she has acted a fool. Awkward and shy as Courtney, she is accomplished, beautiful and athletic as Jane Mansfield, a fiction she must maintain until she figures out how to get back to her own time—or Jane’s mother will commit her to an asylum and tell everyone she is dead to protect the family’s name and position.
As a devoted fan of all things Jane Austen, Courtney, now Jane, is able to fool everyone around her. The only thing she cannot do is fool her nose or her acute sense of hygiene. She is trapped in a time when bathing is believed to be dangerous and unhealthy, where doctors bleed their patients, and among people who repel her with the reeking stench of their unwashed bodies and bad teeth. Courtney’s Jane flouts social convention in her single-minded quest to find her way back to her own time.
Unable to avoid the confines of a strictly ordered world where people do not says what’s really on their minds and both men and women mask their questionable and often malevolent intentions, Jane begins to see her new world and herself in a different light. Nothing and no one are truly what they seem, and she can no longer trust her own heart.
Laurie Viera Rigler combines sharp wit and saucy prose in bringing Courtney Stone to life, revealing the vulnerability of the modern woman with too many choices along with the strength of the women of Regency England. Rigler’s wry observations about society and the daily bombardment of information make Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict a fascinating and often humorous read, running a veritable gauntlet of emotions. Rigler’s quicksilver sense of the ridiculous and sharp eye for detail make Courtney’s tale a visual and sensory delight.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell