Lady Anne is the most well read of our Janeites of the James group when reading about all things Austen, including Jane's fan fiction. She has agreed to read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and report on her impressions of this novel out in stores tomorrow. Lady Anne is one tough reader to please when it comes to any topic pertaining to the Regency Era. Faint praise from her is fine praise indeed. Here, then, is her review. Mine will arrive in a few short days.
Courtney Stone is a 30-ish single living in LA with a nothing job, a crummy apartment, and lousy taste in men. Like many in her situation, she obsesses over trivialities and takes solace in vodka and the occasional Xanax. But she finds her best relief from the woes of her life in re-reading Jane Austen. Jane Mansfield, a 30-ish single living in Regency England, lives at home with her harsh mother and vague, artistic father. Like many in her situation, she sees only misery and unhappiness before her. In her search for a way out, she consults a fortuneteller, who has apparently done a few terms at Hogwarts School, and who, in the aftermath of a riding accident, slips the very 21st century mind and psyche of Courtney into the body and life of the Regency Jane.
In the fairly predictable incidents that unfold, author Laurie Viera Rigler takes a clear look at the marrying money theme that runs through Austen’s books, as well as the realities of everyday living for the gentried classes and their servants. Courtney/Jane, while chafing against the chaperonage inflicted upon her, a little strict by 1813 for a woman of 30 even by Regency standards, learns to appreciate the fabric of the life she got so much comfort from reading about. It doesn’t hurt that Mr. Edgeworth, an eminently respectable suitor, is also charming and handsome, and everything she had looked for in a man, but couldn’t find in 21st Century LA. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is a good summer read, and fun for every Jane Austen fan.