Title: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Author: Laurie Viera Rigler
Date Finished: 5 August 2009
My Rating: 3 Stars
Challenges: 100+, Library, Everything Austen
This is actually the second time I have read this and I have to say I think I enjoyed it more this time around. The first time I read it I was still in a up all night feeding my baby sleep deprived mode, so that might have something to do with my original dislike and confusion (Now I am just in a exhausted from being 8 months pregnant stage). While I still don't consider this a great work I did find myself a little more caught up in the story during my second reading.
There is a lot of Jane Austen fanfic out on the market these days. A lot! And lets face it, a lot of it, I'd wager to say the vast majority of it, is tripe. What I like about Rigler's contribution to the genre is that it is not a continuation of Austen's creations but contains an original character. This is no Elizabeth and Darcy marriage saga, nothing about Mr. Darcy's point of view and no attempt to gather all the characters from all six of Jane Austen's novels into one story. Aside from a sad, as in pathetic, encounter with Miss Austen herself this book does not really have much to do with Jane Austen or her novels. (The title is rather misleading in my opinion, a Jane Austen addict, yes, but where are the confessions?)
Courtney Stone, a self professed Jane Austen addict, wakes up one morning, after being drunk the night before, in the body and life of Jane Mansfield, a woman living in Regency England. Courtney must now learn to maneuver through a life that is not her own and that she has no memory of.
I could be really nit-picky with this about the things that bothered me about this book, and there were plenty but I am going to refrain. This was a quick and mostly fun read which is kinda what I could use right now.
I read this the first time in my pre-blogging days but was already using Goodreads. Here are my thoughts, as posted on Goodreads, after reading it the first time:
The book did not hook me at all. It was a quick read but not an “I can’t put it down” read. I felt it took too long for anything to really happen. There was too much “Why I am here? How do I get back? Ok. I accept that I am here.” And then back to the “why am I here” etc etc. I kept waiting for something to actually happen. I felt like the author kept introducing ideas and plot points that could have been interesting but then never developed them. Like the journal with the names written over and over again and Jane telling James about Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks. About half way through things started to pick up but then just slowed down again.
I did find the meeting with Jane Austen comical if not a bit odd. If you had the chance to actually meet Jane Austen would you really go off about movie adaptations and other things that Austen would have no idea about?
The biggest disappointment was the ending. What happened? Did Courtney wake up in LA without time passing? Had Jane inhabited Courtney’s life while Courtney inhabited Jane’s? How did Jane know about Abraham Lincoln etc? When/where had she learned these things? So much left unexplored or explained.
My favorite part of the book was the start of chapter 14 when Courtney describes why she reads and re-reads Jane Austen."There is comfort in the familiarity of it all, in the knowledge that it will all turn out well..." That is exactly how I feel about reading Jane Austen.
Like I said, I think I enjoyed it a little more this time and was all around less critical. Although many of the same things did stick out as being left unsaid or resolved. All the same, a light hearted romantic little story with some allusions to Jane Austen thrown in. One of the better Jane Austen fanfic books I have read.
So why did I re-read it? Because I am about to read the sequel and did not really remember much about the first one and wanted a refresher. I am hoping Rude Awakenings will answer some of the questions left behind from the first book.