An Austen Addict's Alter-RealityInstead of looking at a book by Jane Austen, I’m switching gears with a book that serves as a tribute to Austen. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler is about a modern-day woman who considers Pride and Prejudice her “drug of choice.” It’s the book she rereads through every breakup, disappointment, and crisis. And this time she really needs Elizabeth and Darcy to get her through a doozy, the breakup of her engagement. She pours herself an icy shot of Absolut, cracks open the book, and then things get a bit fuzzy. When she wakes up, she’s in a strange room with strangers all around her. The obviously confused Brits keep calling her Miss Mansfield. It’s all quite a dream until Courtney can’t pinch herself awake. She’s actually in another time and another woman’s body. The back of the book cover explains that “… not even her level of Austen mania 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.”
I haven’t read and reread Austen’s novels enough to make analytical comparisons of this book to Austen’s work . All I know is that I truly enjoyed this book and Courtney’s journey back to an eye-opening clash of cultures. Inconveniences and realities of the time period take her from a realm of romanticism to mild irritation. Corsets are uncomfortable; pungent body odor is offensive. I never would have thought that a nice carriage ride would actually be a bone-shattering event.
After clattering around in Mary’s coach for who knows how many hours, my bones have become castanets.
Laurie Viera Rigler, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Dutton, 2007; reprint, New York: Penguin Group, A Plume Book, 2008), 225.
All I do is have a nice chat with a guy over dinner and everyone’s ready to order wedding invitations. Talk about assumptions.
Laurie Viera Rigler, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Dutton, 2007; reprint, New York: Penguin Group, A Plume Book, 2008), 68.