75 of 89 people found the following review helpful
2 1/2 stars: not too dire,
This review is from: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Hardcover)
I'll confess to being a Jane Austen fan -- I've read and reread her completed and incompleted works, her letters, read many of the Jane Austen pastiches (and will admit to really liking Stephanie Barron's & Carrie Bebris' Jane Austen mystery novels) and seen all the film realisations of her novels (but not "Becoming Jane Austen" -- one has to draw a line somewhere). I'll also confess to not having very high hopes about Laura Viera Rigler's "Confession of a Jane Austen Addict" -- after all this out-of-body/time travel plot motif is that has been utilised by quite a few Regency-era romance novelist before this, and might I add with better effect? But I did want to be proven wrong, and so checked the book out. And came to the conclusion that while "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" proved not to be as dire as I feared it would be, it was not quite the stellar read either.
Reeling from a broken engagement and the betrayal of her best friend, the last thing Courtney Stone expected was to wake up one morning and find herself in Regency England, trapped in another woman's (Miss Jane Mansfield) body. Shocked and concerned, Courtney desperately wants to return to her own life in L.A. but fate seems to have decreed that she remain in London for a while, leading Jane Mansfield's life. Can Courtney pull off this masquerade without anyone being the wiser? And what she should do about the real Jane's suitor, the dishy Mr. Edgeworth? Jane's masterful mother is determined that her daughter make a match of it with Mr. Edgeworth, but Jane seems to be strangely mistrustful of her very eligible and desirable suitor...
For me, the first part of the book unfolded quite smoothly and rather well. I thought that the author did quite a good job of portraying Courtney's love of Jane Austen's novels and of the pain she suffered when she realised how much both her fiance and her best friend had each betrayed her. Where things fell apart for me was when I realised that Courtney may have read and reread Miss Austen's novels a great many times but except for the storyline, very little else stuck in her consciousness. Courtney seemed to have very little understanding about the manners and habits of the Regency period -- she made the kind of mistakes that even the most casual of readers would have avoided. And I don't think I'm being unnecessarily harsh here.
The other thing I kept wondering about, instead of losing myself in this novel, was what was going on at the other end, in L.A, where presumably Jane was inhabiting Courtney's body and leading her life. I found myself really wanting to know at once what was going on. Especially since Wes, as a romantic lead seemed more interesting than Mr. Edgeworth. I also kept wondering why Jane was still unmarried at thirty, and if there was some kind of back story as to why her character seemed so sheltered and unformed. These questions were never fully answered and rather took over my enjoyment of the book, which was a bit of a shame.
I'd have rated "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" a 3 star read except for that fact that what was going on "off stage" proved more interesting than what was unfolding before my eyes. And for that reason, I'd rate this novel as a 2 1/2 star read, and suggest actually rereading the excellent Miss Austen if you feel a need for a Jane Austen fix.
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Initial post: Mar 13, 2010 7:19:04 PM PST
I have to mention, that while I agree that "Becoming Jane Austen" the film was trash; the book it was based on was the best of the several Austen bio's I've read. It gave a lot of new info and also imo put her in context of her times and her large extended family much more than other biographies have done. She was a person of the late 18th/ early 19th century, and the family aspect in particular would have been so much more important to her than any of us can really relate to. I would recommend the book "Becoming Jane Austen" very highly to any Austen fanatics.
Posted on May 18, 2014 1:03:22 PM PDT
You might want to consider changing your stars back to 3.5 since you marked it 2.5 due to curiosity of what was going on "off stage." The author has come out with exactly that story for you called "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict: A Novel" and it is about what was happening to Jane in the modern world.
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