Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

My next read!
No, not me, sillies!

I'm talking about the book by Laurie Viera Rigler, which arrived this past Friday (see background post here). Laurie signed it and everything--thanks, Laurie! I started reading it and couldn't put it down. It's awesome. Read on below (spoilers!).

Written in the first person, 21st century Courtney finds herself "magically" transported into the body of Jane Mansfield, who lives in Regency Era England. Translation=Jane Austen times! Courtney's a bit befuddled at first, and it takes a few chapters to realize that this is not a dream, it's reality. Her only preparation for living in Regency England is her obsession with Jane Austen and the myriad of "tips and tricks" she's picked up from Jane's books. Of course, everyone thinks she's bonkers, but she does manage to pull it off and be Jane Mansfield as she tries to figure out how she was transported and how to get home.

The book really made me imagine how I would react if this happened to me. Courtney has a rough time with the body odors, bathing schedules, lack of flushing loos, and menstrual pads available during Regency times. I admit that I would be holding my nose a lot, too! However, she does enjoy having servants, lots of gowns and jewels, dancing, and all the wonderful things described in Pride and Prejudice. Finally, to top it off, she runs into Jane Austen herself while in London, and even talks to her (somewhat crazily, as Jane has to run away from her!). And yes, there is romance. Courtney/Jane is being courted by Mr Edgeworth, but she doesn't know if she can trust him--he is surrounded by a lecherous mystery, of course. Her "mother," Mrs Mansfield, is a manipulating, evil woman, and she lends her own trouble to the story. The story also includes a faithful best friend, a fortune teller, a Mr Bennett-like father, and first editions of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

I finished the book in two days and promptly ordered the sequel, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict from Amazon. It just arrived this afternoon. Guess what I'll be doing? Maybe I am an Austen addict after all...

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