In the first book, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Rigler pens the ultimate fantasy for Jane Austen fans – Courtney Stone, a modern day girl, goes to bed and wakes up the next morning in England during the early 1800’s!
In her second book, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield from Regency England wakes up to find herself in Courtney Stone’s empty LA apartment!
When I first came across these two books, I was immediately reminded of the movie “Lost In Austen”, which I loved! It was about a young woman in modern day London who was unhappy and chose to escape by reading Austen’s Pride and Prejudice over and over. One night when a small door in her apartment’s bathroom opened, out walked Elizabeth Bennet (Austen’s fictional heroine) and they exchange places. It’s a great movie if you are able to suspend reality and ponder the “What If”.
Another similar tale is Austenland by Hale, Shannon, and it too has been made into a movie (which came out August 16th). I haven’t seen it yet, but I will. That book has a sequel Midnight In Austenland by Hale, Shannon , which will probably also be made into a movie if the first one proves successful.
Anyway, back to CONFESSIONS, the first book (modern girl into the past): It was the most enjoyable to me. (Maybe because I sometimes wish it would happen to me!) I laughed at the adjustments that Courtney had to make in order to fit into her “new life” and some of her conversations and misunderstandings were funny. I doubt I could have done as well had I been transported. There is a bit of drama over Mr. Edgeworth, suitor of the woman she has replaced. Is he a good guy or not?
In the second book RUDE AWAKENINGS, poor Jane is totally clueless about our modern world! You can’t help but feel sorry for her. Imagine her as your great-great grandmother suddenly being dropped into your life. All the technological advancements are confusing enough, but the “freedom” she longed for had bad points along with the good. She can speak her mind and go where she wants, but now she has no servants to rely on and must earn her own money by holding down a job. What a surprise it was for her to learn that “working” was so tedious and boring. Ha! Ha!
Who do you think has the better deal in this reversal of fortune? Would you rather be Courtney or Jane? Read both and find out!
BOTH AVAILABLE AT CHESAPEAKE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Just for fun