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Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

January 9, 2009

Confessions of a Jane Austen AddictI’ve been on a major Jane Austen kick lately. Back in February of last year I posted about wishing I could take a month to be surrounded by only Austen-type stuff. Not long ago I was lucky enough to indulge a little and took the time to read Pride & Prejudice, watched the famous BBC miniseries and watched the new Hollywood version with Keira Knightley. I then picked up Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler off my bookshelves, which I have been looking forward to reading.

Courtney Stone, a modern day woman living in LA, nurses her broken heart from her recent break up with her fiance by reading her favorite author, Jane Austen. She falls asleep while reading and mysteriously wakes up in the year 1813 in regency England. What she believes initially is a dream bought on by her Austen addiction, she quickly realizes that instead of waking up she continues in this world and is recognized as a woman by the name of Jane Mansfield. Unable to figure out how to get back to the real world, Courtney decides to play along and uses her Austen knowledge to adapt to the upper class surroundings. While dealing with Jane’s overbearing, control freak mother and attention from the very eligible, rich Mr. Edgeworth (who may or may not be a villain) Courtney begins having memories which are not her own. Courtney seeks the advise of a local fortune teller, but she wonders if she will ever make it back home.

The book had a really promising beginning. I loved this paragraph from Chapter 14:

As my bedside candles illuminate a page in the precious first edition (of Prides and Prejudice) I hold in my hands, I understand, as I have long understood through my own insatiable appetite for readings and rereadings of Jane Austen’s six novels, why children want the same stories read to them a thousand times. There is a comfort in the familiarity of it all, in the knowledge that all will turn out well, the Elizabeth and Darcy will end up together in Pemberley, that Anne Eliot will pierce Captain Wenthworth’s soul, and that Mr. Elton will be stuck with his caro sposa for the rest of his life. It is so unlike the unpredictability and unfairness of real-life endings and the half-life stasis I inhabit.

There was also a nice amount of humor throughout the book and I really felt like I could connect with Courtney and had fun reading how she would get by pretending to be someone she is not. The author also throws in a cameo appearance by Jane Austen herself, which was a cute touch.

Rude Awakening of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler (2009)Then, we come to the end. When I turned the last page, instead of contently closing the book and smiling at my good fortune at reading a fun book, I actually yelled out “THAT WAS IT?” The book ended so abruptly that I was amazed. Wait a minute, did the printer actually make a mistake and forgot to include the last chapter in the printing? Nope, that was the ending. You are going along pretty good, then WHAMMO, the end. Disappointing to say the least. There is no real resolution, and the ending left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  What I hadn’t realized was that the author has now written what she calls a sequel/parallel story called Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, which I read about here. This book, which will be released in May of next year, is the parallel story of the actual Jane Mansfield, who ends up in Courtney Stone’s body in LA. Then, I listened to the author chat from Book Club Girl (which took place in last June) and the author talks about two things. First, she mentions that her first book is left for each reader to have their own interpretation of the ending. Well, that’s kind of obvious. Secondly, she said she was unsure whether or not anything will be revealed in the new book that will make the ending of the first book clearer.  I’m tempted to read it when it comes out, since the premise sounds charming and maybe the author has since changed her mind and has actually decided to wrap up some of those unanswered questions from the first book. Or maybe I won’t bother. Not sure…

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2009 5:29 pm

    I’ll check out the sequel when it comes out as I thought the first book was really fun.

  2. January 9, 2009 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the link Stephanie. The ending to Confessions was a bit unclear. I hope that it will be resolved in Rigler’s sequel/parallel novel this May, Rude Awakenings. She is a gift writer with a great sense of humor, so I look forward to reading it.

    Cheers, Laurel Ann

  3. January 9, 2009 8:49 pm

    Hi Stephanie – I just finished this book myself but I have to say I didn’t really like – even though I really, really wanted to!

  4. January 9, 2009 10:13 pm

    I loved your review!! and even though the ending made you mad I found myself wanting to read the book!! I love everything Austen. I just bought the BBC miniseries from for 12.14!!! including shipping. The best Christmas present I ever got myself!! Thanks for featuring this book!!!!

  5. January 10, 2009 4:10 pm

    I hate it when that happens!!!! I feel sure I would’ve yelled the same thing.

  6. Bobbie Crawford-McCoy permalink
    January 10, 2009 5:28 pm

    Hi Stephanie,

    I love your review!

    I wanted to let you know that I have awarded you The Butterfly Award! 🙂
    I really love your Blog.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  7. January 11, 2009 11:54 pm

    Thanks for the review, Stephanie! I’ll have to check out these books! They sounds great!

    BTW, I’ve passed you an award! 🙂

  8. January 12, 2009 3:58 pm

    Stephanie –
    I tagged you for a bookshelf meme. I hope you don’t ‘mind…it’s at:

  9. January 13, 2009 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the review! I was a bit disappointed by this book but am still planning on reading the sequel/parallel book.

  10. January 14, 2009 9:32 pm

    I liked this book and look forward to reading the sequel (is that the right term?). Love the cover art of the new book.

  11. February 9, 2009 10:54 pm

    I didn’t realize there was another book coming out to parallel the other one – thanks for sharing that info. Another book I’m going to have to add to my TBR list. 🙂

  12. February 11, 2009 11:21 am

    Have you read The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman? Very funny continuation of Pride and Prejudice. And now I’m reading the annotated P&P. Can’t get enough of Jane.


  1. Esp 55 show notes « Jane Austen Podnovel Blog
  2. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler « The Sleepless Reader

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