Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Firstly, I know I haven’t blogged for a while (I’m sorry!). As mentioned in the video below (in which I had just had a shower so my hair and makeupless face are kind of feral, but ahh well), I’ve been involved with some internships and a new magazine called the IF Project (which, although is still undergoing changes and needs some fixing, you can check out my section of on the website linked!)- where I was writing the news segment. Anyway, I decided to try and make it up to you guys by making a video of my latest find!
I discovered this book for (AU)$7.95 in Basement Books (my favourite little cheap book store at the end of Sydney Central Station’s tunnel). At the same time I also came across the book for my next review (which I also mention in the video), which cost the same amount. At the time I thought this was cheap, but I’m not sure I really loved the book, as it fell more into the fanfic category writing-style-wise – so I can’t be completely happy about it.
(I have to confess that I have not read the first book of the two ‘Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict’ which was apparently a “national bestseller” according to the dust jacket.) In what could be described as a “Reverse Lost In Austen” type storyline, Rigler opens up some opportunities for serious social commentary and criticism, particularly with the tagline “Can a girl from Regency England survive in today’s morally confused world?”. However, what could be an academic discussion between the pros and cons of each society quickly turns into a fluffy piece of chick-lit. Which, hey, isn’t always a bad thing (I’m forever reading rom-coms) but is just a bit of a sad state for such a promising premise.
Jane Mansfield, our Regency protagonist, in switching places with Courtney Stone, the ex-21st Century “morally loose” and financially unstable character, becomes immersed in this new life. And, essentially, prefers it to her own and decides to stay. Wes, the main romantic interest of the novel, is a really nicely thought-out character. Although he stumbles after her, and tries to help her out, a little bit like a loving labrador, you still feel for him. But at the end of the day the crises aren’t critical enough, her worries aren’t wearying enough and even the elated moments are just a bit… flat.
Pride and Prejudice features a heck of a lot throughout. One of Jane Mansfield’s first technological encounters of the 21st century world is through BBC P&P on the television screen next to her. She becomes confused over whether it is a window, and they are neighbours, and if it is a play or not when she recognises the names as being from our favourite Austen book! Courtney Stone’s mobile phone (cell phone for the US-oriented!) that Jane adopts (as she does her entire life) has BBC Pride and Prejudice’s main theme as its ringtone. Which is completely adorable. There are also mentions of Matthew Macfadyen from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice throughout. And a tonne of “Are you trying to be Kiera Knightley or something?” type jokes from her friends.
Anyway, enough of me writing about it- I suggest you check out the little video I made about it:
Have you read this one or the prequel? What did you think? Are you keen to read it? Let me know in the comments below!