Friday, June 14, 2013

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

onfessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler, Read by Orlagh Cassidy

Modern LA girl Courtney Stone nurses a break-up with her fiance by reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Courtney falls asleep and when she wakes, she's not herself! In fact, she's not even in LA or the 21st century! Courtney seems to be inhabiting the body of a 19th century Englishwoman named Jane Mansfield who has a life worthy of the plot of a Jane Austen novel. Courtney must learn to navigate the social waters of Regency England. Jane's kind but indifferent father leaving things to Jane's scheming matchmaking mother who is determined to marry Jane off to the handsome Charles Edgeworth. At first Courtney/Jane is attracted to Edgeworth, but when she channels Jane's memories, she is disturbed by an unflattering image of Edgeworth. Edgeworth's spinster sister is also determined to prevent the match for Jane's own good. Courtney worries about what to do about Edgeworth and her own situation back in LA and how to get home again. Courtney's reminisces and Jane's memories provide the back story but create awkward moments when Courtney/Jane breaks out of the narrative/carrying on a conversation to relate a memory. Orlagh Cassidy is not a very good narrator. Her voice is pleasant enough but her English accent is atrocious and her pronunciation isn't much better. Courtney was a little annoying with lots of hang-ups and problems a la Bridget Jones but she grew on towards the end. Jane seemed intriguing and I wanted to know more about her and her life. The story also doesn't really fill us in on what happened to Jane (there's a sequel for that). The ending is rather confusing but different in a good way. I thought I would dislike this book but despite the negative aspects, the plot kept me interested and addicted and I really enjoyed the story.

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