Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Book 47 of my 2014 Reading Challenge

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Summary (via Goodreads)
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.

My Opinion
***Edit 10/07/14****
When I finished this book I wasn't aware there was another book in the series called Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.  It's listed as a sequel but I felt it was more of a companion book.  While I actually think the two books would've been better if they had been combined into one, perhaps alternating chapters between the past and future, they were published separately.  My strong recommendation is if you read Confessions..., you should read Rude Awakenings... immediately after.  

This was my book club's selection this month. I probably wouldn't have picked it for myself but it was a quick, light read that wasn't a chore to get through - a big plus as I read while preparing my kids for their first day back to school!
The only Jane Austen I've read was in high school, not because I have anything against her but because her books are on my 'well known books I should read' list that I never seem to get around to.  It doesn't take a superfan to get the storyline of the book, although there may have been inside jokes (like character names) that completely went over my head.
I didn't always understand the author's choice of what to focus on.  I felt like I read a lot about body odor, and the parts about breast size (she wakes up in a strange place and body and the first thing she does is talk for two paragraphs about how her 'real' breasts compare to the 'other body' breasts she currently has?) and menstruation were unexpected as well, but then when it came time for the ending, it was neatly wrapped up in a few short pages.
Overall, there are definitely worse ways to spend a few hours but it wasn't a memorable read. 

Quote from the Book
"I'm here. In someone else's body. In someone else's life. And here, it appears, I will stay until - or if - I figure out how to get my life back."

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