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Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict Paperback – April 29, 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Jane Austen Addict Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Orlagh Cassidy is delightfully fun as Courtney Stone, a modern Los Angeles girl nursing a heartbreak who wakes up to find herself inhabiting the body and life of a Jane Austenesque Regency girl. Cassidy is spot-on with Courtney's California accent, modern-day moaning about men, self-analysis and doubt, and sarcasm—and then, without missing a beat, flips easily into the proper, upper-class English tones of Jane (the Regency girl Courtney has replaced, whose accent came with the body), her pompous, controlling mother, her desperate suitor and her sympathetic best friend. Orlagh's lively narration makes Courtney even more endearing and brings the colorful story to life. Fans of Austen, chick lit, and romantic comedies should definitely put this one on their listening list.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Talk about an out-of-body experience. One moment Courtney Stone is a modern-day L.A. career woman lamenting a lost love; the next she is Jane Mansfield, a well-to-do, willowy (though not particularly buxom, unlike her twentieth-century namesake) lady in nineteenth-century England. What could account for this transplant of time and place? Courtney has no opportunity to ruminate over such matters; she must quickly learn to interact with inhabitants of the brave old world in which she finds herself. There's her mother, determined to marry 30-year-old Jane off to handsome Mr. Edgeworth; her artist father, more inclined to his daughter's free-spirited frame of mind; and faithful servant Miss Barnes, who helps her mistress manage everything from chaperones to corsets. (Thank goodness Jane has read Pride and Prejudice more than a dozen times.) It's not long before Jane finds the lines blurred between her two vastly different selves. Like her heroine, debut author Rigler boasts an obsession with the novels of Jane Austen. This frothy take on literary time travel will appeal most to readers well versed in the celebrated author's memorable characters and themes. Block, Allison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452289726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452289727
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on March 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is a truth, universally acknowledged that if you use Jane Austen's name or one of her beloved titles into your own work you are guaranteed a bestseller (or, at the very least, a book deal). The gimmick has been done to death. How many romances and chick-lit books have a variation of Jane Austen in its story or title? Helen Fielding did it with Bridget Jones's Diary, and I've lost count of the many, many so-called sequels or retellings of Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion. And so, I picked up Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict with a certain level of skepticism. Here we go again, I thought. Another wannabe Jane Austen. However, I was drawn to this novel for two reasons. The most obvious is, of course, Jane Austen (it appears that the aforementioned gimmick does work). The other reason is that I love time travel stories -- well written and thoroughly researched time travel stories, that is. More on that later.

Courtney Stone is a thirty-year-old L.A. woman who has had it with men after she catches her fiancé cheating on her with the wedding cake baker. Add insult to injury, Wes, a man she thought she could trust, had been covering Frank. But that becomes the least of her problems when Courtney wakes up in 1813 England, inhabiting the body of a country bumpkin by the name of Jane Mansfield (yes, Jane as in Jane Austen and Mansfield as in Mansfield Park). Courtney, a Jane Austen fanatic, cannot believe she has been transported into a body, a setting and a story not unlike Austen's memorable novels. Not only does she have to become accustomed to corsets, shapeless high-waist gowns, uncomfortable transportation, body odor and scarce baths, but she has to make sense of everything that goes on around her.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Jane Austen who has, on occasion, been disappointed by Austen adaptations or re-imaginings, I approached this book with reservations. No-one can be more pleased than I am to say my skepticism proved undeserved. Here is a book that any lover of the books of Jane Austen is sure to relish and appreciate!

What would happen if a recently and multiply heart-broken modern-day woman, who has fallen asleep drinking vodka and reading Pride and Prejudice while mourning her broken engagement, were to wake up in Jane Austen's England? This is how the book begins. Courtney wakes up to find everyone calling her Jane Mansfield, doctors wishing to bleed ill humors out of her, and a marriage-obsessed mother threatening to put her into an asylum if she keeps insisting she is not, indeed, Jane. Courtney decides to play along convinced she'll soon wake up back in modern day Los Angeles, until she realizes perhaps it isn't a dream after all.

The reader gets to experience the early nineteenth-century English countryside, Bath, and London through eyes at once modern and Austenian. Throw in a bit of pride, a bit of prejudice, and a host of characters, plots, and subplots, and it all melds into a wonderful kaleidoscope of Austen.

The story is so deftly plotted, simultaneously familiar and new, the characters so likeable (and dislikeable), the prose so fluid and fresh, that the book goes by in a flash. Austen's words and world are ever-present, without weighing the story down. Laurie Viera Rigler has accomplished a marvel--a delicately-mastered fusion of the beloved and known with the sure-to-be-loved, not-yet-known.

I meant to read a few chapters before bed and ended up foregoing sleep, staying up all night, to read the book in one sitting. Whether you are a die-hard "Austen addict" or just discovering Austen's world, this book is sure to delight.
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